Redwing baby birds for Mothers Day


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North America » United States » Florida
May 11th 2014
Published: May 12th 2014
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Wakodahatchee, in Delray Beach, Florida, is one of the main recreation wetlands for bird lovers around our area: 50 acres of land with a three-quarter mile boardwalk that crosses natural bird habitats providing incredible opportunities to observe birds. Our friends visit the area often and the world travels quick when something special is found. This Spring there a lot of nests and new chicks everywhere. Diane, the "video" specialist in the group showed us a pretty interesting behavior that she was filming that afternoon. Nature never cease to impress and we decided to have a bird day, wake up at a decent time in the morning and go a take some fun photos of the new babies.

"Red Wind Blackbirds are one of the most abundant birds across North America, and one of the mostboldly colored. Glossy-black males have scarlet-and-yellow shoulder patches they can puff up or hide depending on how confident they feel. Females are a subdued, streaky brown, almost like a large, dark sparrow. In the North, their early arrival and tumbling song are happy indications of the return of spring. Male Red-winged Blackbirds are hard to mistake. They're an even glossy black with red-and-yellow shoulder badges. Females are crisply streaked and dark brownish overall, paler on the breast and often show a whitish eyebrow. Male Red-winged Blackbirds do everything they can to get noticed, sitting on high perches and belting out their conk-la-ree! song all day long. Females stay lower, skulking through vegetation for food and quietly weaving together their remarkable nests. In winter Red-winged Blackbirds gather in huge flocks to eat grains with other blackbird species and starlings http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/red-winged_blackbird/id.

We have tons of Redwing blackbirds in our yard this time of the year but have never seen a female before and when we first saw the nest and the parents feeding the babies my first reaction was to think that they were different species. How did I dare to question nature like that? Of course as soon as I got home I google it and this is what I found about their behavior :

"Through February, 2001, the longest-living banded wild redwing ever recorded by the Bird Banding Laboratory at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center had survived 15 years and 9 months. Redwings do not mate for life. They don't even form genuine pair bonds, since males who control a territory may have several mates. Males usually return to the same territory for several years, but females often go to entirely different places from one spring to the next. A redwing nest is constructed mostly from dead cattail leaves, sedges, other plant fibers, and is usually constructed in cattails, rushes, shrubs, or weeds, but sometimes in a tree.Most redwing clutches have 3 or 4 eggs. The redwing eggs are Pale blue-green, spotted or with zigzag lines of black, brown and/or purple and it takes 11 - 12 days from the time the last egg is laid. The newly-hatched redwings weigh2.75 grams--a little more than a penny. Baby redwings produce their poop in fecal sacs, encased in strong membranes so they don't leak. Babies remain in their nest for about 13 days. Just about every time the nestlings gulp down some food, they poop. Let's see—that's 13 days x 4 babies x 356 insects and worms on average each day. That's a LOT of poop! How on earth do they keep their nest clean? They poop in a strong "bag" so the parents can carry it away. This bag is made of thick, strong mucus that a parent can pick up in its sharp beak and carry
Male Redwing Blackbird-By Steven KovacsMale Redwing Blackbird-By Steven KovacsMale Redwing Blackbird-By Steven Kovacs

Ready to feed the babies!!!
without puncturing, and is called a fecal sac. Within seconds of feeding, babies back up and poop. This ensures that whichever parent brought the food will still be there to carry away the fecal sac.Fecal sacs are produce by many species of birds! ...so what we thought was "never seen but human eyes before"....is actually been happening for a long time...lol




Baby redwings jump from their nest when they are about 10 days old. It takes them another several days to become strong fliers and independent birds, but in the meantime they are very good at climbing on cattails and other plants.

Then Judy took us to visit the baby swans to finish up our bird day with Mother Nature! Thanx guys for showing awesome stuff!


Additional photos below
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12th May 2014

You are an amazing photographer
Both underwater and above water your skills are exceptional! Wow. That is all I have to say.
12th May 2014

Thank You for the compliment!!!
12th May 2014

sac
Those are some *nice* fecal sacs. :-) Had no idea.
12th May 2014

neither did we!!! lol We thought we were the first photographing it haha nope!

Tot: 0.049s; Tpl: 0.02s; cc: 11; qc: 20; dbt: 0.0091s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb