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Red winged blackbird. A holdover or new arrival?

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bob_G

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I am going to guess late migrant. Saw them in small bunches on North Shore while duck hunting on Jan. 6th. Based on year’s of duck hunting everything is moving later. Very evident with green wing teal. Used to never have them around after mid to late November. Now we have them into January and possibly all winter this year. 

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In northern ma where I am they almost always disappear in winter but I see pics of them fairly often in the bird groups, usually from SE ma.

 

If we do get them in winter they're in the giant flocks of black birds that roost in the gravel quarry. Usually 90% starlings, if you look close you can see Redwing, grackle, rusty and cowbirds mixed in. The closer to spring, the more those others join the starlings.

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Can be tedious looking through hundreds or even thousands in these flocks, but once in a while you spot something unusual.

 

In this pic is a Yellow headed blackbird that my wife and I found this year. Some years there are a couple in Mass. but they are a tough find.

First one we've found, and we spend a lot.......of time looking for such things.

 

YHBlackbird.jpg.b57d6dcb497ab0f9e7f67c65ab94bdb4.jpg

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1 hour ago, Plug and teaser said:

Can be tedious looking through hundreds or even thousands in these flocks, but once in a while you spot something unusual.

 

In this pic is a Yellow headed blackbird that my wife and I found this year. Some years there are a couple in Mass. but they are a tough find.

First one we've found, and we spend a lot.......of time looking for such things.

 

YHBlackbird.jpg.b57d6dcb497ab0f9e7f67c65ab94bdb4.jpg

Very cool, we had one here a couple of years ago. It was the first and only time I've ever seen one.  

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1 hour ago, Plug and teaser said:

Can be tedious looking through hundreds or even thousands in these flocks, but once in a while you spot something unusual.

 

In this pic is a Yellow headed blackbird that my wife and I found this year. Some years there are a couple in Mass. but they are a tough find.

First one we've found, and we spend a lot.......of time looking for such things.

 

YHBlackbird.jpg.b57d6dcb497ab0f9e7f67c65ab94bdb4.jpg

Yes tedious indeed. 

In past years we had giant flocks that would descend on the soccer fields by the thousands. 

I would occasionally scan through hoping for a yellow head. That's why I know the rusties are there. You have to look closely to pick them out. I didn't even know what they were first time I realized they weren't just cowbirds.

 

Picking through blackbirds is too tedious. It's even worse than picking through the flocks of Canada geese. At least you have a slight chance of picking out an oddball Goose while driving your car. Though I don't recommend it. 

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22 hours ago, mikez2 said:

Yes tedious indeed. 

In past years we had giant flocks that would descend on the soccer fields by the thousands. 

I would occasionally scan through hoping for a yellow head. That's why I know the rusties are there. You have to look closely to pick them out. I didn't even know what they were first time I realized they weren't just cowbirds.

 

Picking through blackbirds is too tedious. It's even worse than picking through the flocks of Canada geese. At least you have a slight chance of picking out an oddball Goose while driving your car. Though I don't recommend it. 

 

:th: Rusty Blackbird are cool.... Usually we see them back in the woods around swamps and streams.

But  sometimes  mixed with the flock in the winter.

 

Usually we see the all Black Breeding males, but the non- breeding are even better looking I think.

Often mistaken for Grackles with the white eye and vice versa.

 

A couple locals :

 

rustyblackbird2.jpg.981ad1a9f338bed689c109d5adb7fcee.jpgRustyblackbird1.jpg.992bc4d04ef724143ab0008c4e268986.jpg

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8 hours ago, JEFFSOD said:

 

We had a red wing blackbird at our feeder too about two weeks ago. I think there were a number of Robins on the ground at that time so he might have been traveling with them though there were a lot of songbirds there then too.

it's difficult to describe how many robins I have here.  Where I run my dog, there huge holly trees all over.  There's hundreds upon hundreds of robins feeding on the berries.

I had them all over my lawn for a few days now. When they show up every tree has a half dozen.

The Sultan of Sluggo

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Got my answer on the Red Wing Blackbird and apparently they do travel with the Robins. It is 25 degrees here at the office (S.E. MA) and the Robins just arrived in a flock as they often do this time of year to eat the berries off the Holly Tree and there are some Red Wing Blackbirds with them.

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1 min ago, bdowning said:

Saw a bunch of robins yesterday munching on whatever's left on the crabapple trees. 

Something about a snow storm makes robins go looking for crabapple trees.

Bluebirds too and starlings. 

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