Thursday, June 17, 2010

Father's and daughters

Bet you thought I was going to go on with my personal history, huh?

This rather strange photograph taken through the kitchen window during the rain, on Tuesday, is of our resident male Red Wing Blackbird and his offspring. The offspring appears to be a she. Somehow she got out of the nest a tad early and since they make their nests in the prairie grasses it seems like a pretty easy thing to do.

I have never, since the Red-wing Blackbirds have taken up summer residency, in our yard, seen the male do anything other than defend the property. He takes or rather all of the males that have been here have taken their job super seriously.

No Red-tailed hawks are allowed, no Jays, no Crows, especially no Cowbirds thinking they can deposit their eggs in the nest and have one of his ladies raise them. NO SIRREBOB! The mail Red-wing blackbird spends most of his day going from out post to out post, chirping, eyeballing his property.

He tolerates the Robins, Bluebirds, smaller birds and even the Baltimore Orioles. He's not happy when the deer come and splash around in the pond. He's not happy when I cut the paths around the prairie patches. He lets all of us know of his displeasure and for his ladies to stay low in the grasses.

He even sits on the back of the upstairs deck chairs and peers into the windows of the house.
He has low tolerance for the cats being out on the upper decks. He makes his displeasure known to everybody, from the top of the willow tree.

As, I said, I have never seen him take any interest in the nests other than protect them so I was very surprised to hear him chirping on a regular basis, walking around through the grass, getting bugs and then feeding them to the nosiest little baby bird. They walked the entire yard over to the garden bed next to the studio.

There without any extra chirping he managed to convey to that baby bird to stay put, under the plants until he came back. He flew away to make his rounds of the boundaries of his property.
The baby bird stayed under the flowers.
When he did come back the baby immediately starting following him again, across the grass.

Amazing. How did he convey that message? How did the feeding of this little one become his additional duty? Did one of the females cock her wing towards her hip, tilt her head and say, "You want me to take care of these and follow that little missy around the yard? I DON'T THINK SO!!! If she thinks it's better out of the nest well then she can just figure it out, I have enough to do, thank you."


There are all kinds of them.

I'm impressed with this little Red Wing Blackbird who considers it his duty to feed this annoying baby bird. I know some human fathers that can't figure out what exactly their duty is to their offspring. But, it doesn't surprise me that this bird with a pea sized brain is smarter than some of these human fathers. The Red-wings genetic drive programs him to continue the species. Take care of his own. Somehow some of the human males only have the genetic drive going, the rest seems to have been lost through some kind of generational mutation.

:)Bea Create with what you have.


  1. Don't you love those redwings! They come in our yard all the time to eat at our feeder and on the ground and they're so beautiful. Thanks for sharing the story of yours.

  2. You are most welcome, Whimsey! Since we have moved out here, to the countryside, I have so many different kinds of birds in my yard and at my feeders. I LOVE IT!:)Bea

  3. My Redwings allow my smallest of Carolina Wrens make several homes and nests on my front porch of the cabin. Every morning I get a vocal good morning from the gentlest of God's creatures. Fathers are remarkable and when we nurture them and support them they make the next generation glow and grow! Have a great weekend! Imagine and Live in Peace. Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  4. "Somehow some of the human males only have the genetic drive going, the rest seems to have been lost through some kind of generational mutation."

    Perfectly put!

  5. Birds, and all animals, communicate much better than we give them credit for. All that chirping means something, but not to us.

    Wonderful story.

  6. What a wonderful story and what a great dad! It amazes me that birds and animals can get their offspring to stay hidden without so much as a word. I hope you manage a clearer photo!!