Red-Winged Blackbird Female

The northwest quarter of the park is Red-Winged Blackbird territory now, and you can’t walk the perimeter path through the area in daylight without hearing and seeing the males whose dark plumage and red epaulets give the species its common name. It’s much more unusual at this time of year to see a female. They’re generally out of sight low to the ground tending their nests. This one was on top of a fennel bush just like a male. It’s only toward the end of the breeding season, around the summer solstice, that I’ve seen numbers of females up in the branches. I once saw a whole spread of them close together, looking very much like a discussion group or a caucus (below).

P1040227 (Custom)
Red-Winged Blackbird female, 4/5/2015

Caucus of Red-Winged Blackbird females, 6/27/2011
Caucus of Red-Winged Blackbird females, 6/27/2011

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