A Moment from Al Zucha

My pleasure to meet SVBC members as I am a recent International Member with plans to migrate to San Vito in Spring 2023 with a month-long visit in Aug/Sep 2022. While I’ve been birding for decades, I remain a novice. Since I live on the Houston Ship Channel, shorebirds are a constant. However I looked at the migration patterns and see that Red-winged Blackbirds’ range is to Panama.

Each morning the pup and I watch the chest-bumping patches of red signal dominance for the feeder. One chirps from a nearby shrub and then swoops in — wings back, chest out — and creates space and dominance — if not but for a seed or two. As seed protection, feeder sensitivity is set to to allow two Red-wings at once (finches up to four). Each grabs a seed, hops to the left, cracks seed, dumps hull, and enjoys the effort. “Conk-la-ree!”

Red-wings are ubiquitous on Texas coastal plains. Some flocks register in the tens of thousands. Red-wings were the first wild bird I learned to identify. Maybe that’s why red, black and yellow remain my favorite colors.

Photo by Greg Lasley/VIREO