Red-winged Blackbirds

The pair of Red-winged Blackbirds is still spending their time at Swan Lake along the shore between the peninsula and the radio station – mostly centered on the clump of willows not far from the radio station. Today when I was walking by a Bald Eagle happened to be flying from the upper end of the lake down, and as it flew near the blackbird territory I was interested to first the male joined shortly after by the female harassing the much, much larger eagle. They dove down at it, and I couldn’t tell for sure, but it looked like they were plucking at feathers on the eagle’s back. As it continued on and moved out of their territory, they went back to the willow, perhaps satisfied at their success in keeping the eagle moving.

Something else I noticed as I continued on past the willow was at least one Cedar Waxwing interacting with the female blackbird. The waxwing was chasing the blackbird, and I didn’t see the full interaction, but the blackbird have been chasing the waxwing as well? I’m not sure what was motivating these interactions. I’ve been noticing several waxwings over the past week or so. They are late arriving breeding birds probably looking to set up nesting territories at this point, so perhaps they were defending a potential nest site against the blackbirds.

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