“STRIKE THE POSE”: RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS ON ABACO
The red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) has previously hopped around these pages in the context of a (my!) simple way to RECORD BIRDS using a smart-phone, trim the result and convert it into an mp3 (or even a ring-tone – I have a great Abaco parrot one to startle friends, family and indeed complete strangers). Now we move on to a more important topic, namely courtship and so forth. And boy, don’t male RWBs fancy themselves when trying to impress the laydeez…We had taken a truck into backcountry between the pine forest and the Marls, with Tom and his impressive camo-camera with its 10 foot lens.
This bird was within range of my comparatively puny camera, and I watched as it arranged itself into various elegant poses in the late afternoon sun. All around were their ‘rusty door hinge’ calls, of which this is an example (in fact a female, recorded at Casaurina, hence the background sound of lapping waves).
The purpose of all this was of course to impress the opposite sex (behaviour not confined to bird species). There were plenty of females around, also similarly perching on vantage points for similar display-with-view-to-dating-maybe-more reasons.
I didn’t see the phase in which the males may get quite worked-up, but luckily Y**T*b* has perfect example of a male RWB in full song. Credits as shown on the video.