Monday, March 12, 2007

Red-winged blackbirds are back

We heard our first red-winged blackbird call yesterday, and my heart melted. I just love red-winged blackbirds: aside from flowers, of course, they are my favorite sign of spring.

Something about them has wormed its way into my soul. Their call, which admittedly is not the most beautiful of bird songs, has a lot of resonance for me. I think it's because they were a part of my childhood. Their habitat is agricultural areas with wetlands, and they were plentiful on the farm near London, Ontario, where I grew up. The farm had a creek running through it and ponds nearby.

Our property also has a creek and we have a couple of ponds too, and there are many ponds at the neighboring golf course, so red-wing black birds are abundant here.

It struck me that in all the years of living in cities I hadn't heard or seen them much. When I heard them again when we moved here nine years ago, I felt that I had come home.

Go to to hear a really nice recording of the red-winged blackbird's call.


  1. Yvonne, I'm glad to hear someone else has an attachment to the red-wing black bird! Most people look at me like I'm crazy when I say that it's my favorite bird :-) I live in an urban area (right outside of Detroit) so I don't see them much, unless I go out into the 'burbs more. A few years ago, I was super excited when two males stopped by my bird baths for a drink. You would have thought I'd won the lottery :-)

  2. Jeesus! That was a call to be recognised! I live in Sweden and red wings don't, so I haven't heard it before. But I think I would love them too - it's a beautiful bird, after all.

    Happy gardening!

  3. Anonymous9:55 PM

    I too have an affinity to RWBB's (as I call them). As a child we would drive to my grandparents house in Independence, Missouri from Kansas City. Out of the corner of my eye I would see the brilliant flash of red and gold on a dark black bird. It so impressed me. Then my grandpa pointed out their call to me.

    Now, late in life, I am dating a photographer who has a stream with reeds and cattails in his backyard - and so - lots of RWBB's. He has a camera set up to photograph the birds that visit his bird feeder and so the connection again with RWBB's. I hear their call in the morning and evening, and review his images of them.

    As a graphic designer, I have honored them on my new web site. have a look if u wish. It is still a work in progress.


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-Yvonne, aka Country Gardener