The Feather Files Name:Western Meadowlark Species: Sturnella neglecta Native to and Migration: Birds can be found in South Central and Western Canada; central and Western United States; North and Central Mexico. Resident to medium distance migrants. Date Seen: May 2018 Location: Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Utah Notes: Open grassland birds, their song is familiar to many of us here on the prairies, but we seldom if ever see them!
The Feather Files Name: Red-winged Blackbird Species: Agelaius phoeniceus Native to and Migration: Red-winged Blackbirds that breed through most of Canada spend the winter in the southern United States. The birds that breed in the United States and Mexico don’t migrate at all. Date Seen: May 2018, February 2019 Location: Utah and Arizona
Notes:These birds spend the breeding season in wet places like fresh or saltwater marshes. Male Red-winged Blackbirds will sit on a high perch over their territories, which they defend vigorously. Females slink through reeds and grasses collecting food or nest material. This explains why I didn’t recognize the female until I saw a flock of them feeding beside a lake during non-breeding season.
The Feather Files Name: Bronzed Cowbird Species: Molothrus aeneus Native to and Migration: A Central American bird that makes its way to the United States in the border states and Louisiana. Date Seen: April 30, 2018 Location: North of Fountain Hills, Arizona
Notes: Like other cowbirds, the female does not make a nest, but instead lays her eggs in the nests of other bird species. (Brood parasites.)
The Feather Files Name: Yellow-headed Blackbird Species:Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus Native to and Migration: Populations that breed in the Canadian prairies migrate southeast and then due south across the United States to wintering grounds in the Southwest and throughout Mexico. They form large flocks of thousands of birds that forage in crop fields, ranchlands, and farmyards from Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas through much of Mexico. Date Seen: May 3, 2018 Location:Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Utah
Notes: The female chooses a nest site within a male’s territory. The nest always overhangs shallow water in wetlands, marshes, ponds and rivers.
When Paul Bunyan’s loggers roofed an Oregon bunkhouse with shakes, fog was so thick that they shingled forty feet into space before discovering they had passed the last rafter. – Oregon: End of the Trail, “Tall Tales and Legends” –
We were all ‘grounded’ this morning when a thick fog rolled in. Even the birds sat it out for a while – waiting for the fleeting fog to lift.
“Air Traffic Control says I have to just sit here in the fog. I’m not instrument-rated.”
“Heads up – I got a fleeting glimpse of the runway!”
“Ground Control – this is Little Bird Golf Echo Charlie, on the east fence post, ready for takeoff.”
The Feather Files Name:Red-winged Blackbird Species: Agelaius phoeniceus Native to and Migration: Red-winged Blackbirds that breed through most of Canada spend the winter in the southern United States. The birds that breed in the United States and Mexico don’t migrate at all. Date Seen:June 2013 Location: NE of Calgary, Alberta