#YearInReview: March, 2021

There are no “ordinary” birds.

That’s the conclusion I have come to just a couple years into my birding-with-a-camera career. For when I manage to get a decent photo that enables me to see and dwell on details of color, pattern, feather texture, beak shape, eye treatment… all of it, I am astonished every time

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) (female)

This photo is from a March 2021 birding-by-camera-and-kayak excursion on Black Bayou Lake. It’s a lot of fun and you can kind of sneak up on birds in a kayak better than on foot. I saw coots and a double-crested cormorant on the water. Unusual sights of the day included a great blue heron fishing from a perch in a tree and a great egret making a meal of a snake.

But I was captivated by the flock of red-winged blackbirds foraging among the trees standing in the swampy area around the edge of the lake. This flock seemed to be a high percentage of females. Growing up in Iowa, red-wings were a common sight, but it is only in recent years that I learned that the red epaulets occur only on males. Now I look for the females with their striking white eyebrows, mottled breasts and shades of tan and brown. They are the beauties of the species!

Hmmm. Three months into this #YearInReview and 3 bird photos shared. Could this be the year of the bird?


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