Friday 31 May 2013

Alberta May 2013 - The Blackbirds

You know you live in a bird impoverished province when seeing blackbirds on a mainland trip is good. Alberta has a full suite of Canadian blackbirds including prairie specializing species the Yellow-headed and Brewer's Blackbird. In Newfoundland when you say Redwing you are talking about the thrush.  The full name Red-winged Blackbird is required for that species which is only marginally more numerous.
The male Brewer's Blackbird is a smart looking bird when you look at it closely.  It is common and widespread in Alberta covering a variety of habitats ranging from open prairie to more wooded areas.
 The song and display of the male Brewer's Blackbird is nothing to rave about.
The female Brewer's Blackbird is a plain brown bird but with the sleekness of the male.
A male Brown-headed Cowbird does its best banana shape pose to impress a nearby female. 

Red-winged Blackbirds are a part of every slough and wet ditch in Alberta.
Yellow-headed Blackbirds are abundant being semi-colonial in the richer cattail marshes in Alberta.  Like breeding plumage Atlantic Puffins in Newfoundland, they are so gaudy that you become blase about them in short order. 


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