Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cccreeak...

Crayola never invented a color to compare with our rarer fall "blackbirds"- the Rusty. Burnt sienna tinged with pumpkin pie, these members of the Euphagus family look to be thoroughly stained by tannins in the shallow waters they seem to adore.

Rusty Blackbird photos by Greg Cornett

A little afternoon visit to Alum Creek paid off with a close up study of the fall blackbirds. Generally found in wet woodlands, they were passing time flipping oak leaves at the edge of the water, no doubt looking for yummy invertebrates.


The adult males are slightly darker, and both genders have the characteristic golden eye. The female (first photo) also shows a better view of the light eye line.
...
Known for their voice, much like a "rusty" gate or creaking door, these fall foliage birds are often best located by their call: "Cccreeak...."


Map by Wikipedia

Rusty Blackbirds breed in wet woodlands in Canada and spend their winter months in the eastern-central United States. Fall marks their journey south, where they'll spend winters in wetland habitats reminiscent of their damp forest home.
...
Rustys have been much studied in recent years, as a noticeable population decline has squarely placed the birds as "Vulnerable" on the 2007
Red List of Threatened Species.

...
...
In my photo, three Rusty Blackbirds make their way along the backwater, flipping leaves and looking for tasty morsels. We noticed them playing pee-a-boo, hopping up on the logs, and diving back down between them. I can think of worse ways to spend an autumn afternoon.
...
...
This fellow came up with the goods! Little did I realize, Rustys do enjoy the occasional acorn- but apparently sharing is an issue. Greg nailed this photo for sure!
...
You can't blame him for wanting to enjoy his prize. I know we felt pretty happy about the prize we stumbled across on the waters edge. Good Birding to you!

1 comment:

  1. nice descriptions of a great little bird

    ReplyDelete