Red-winged Blackbirds in Chicago: An Introduction

I heard them before I was certain that I had seen the signature red wing. Numerous Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) have taken up the west side of the Shedd Aquarium and surrounding gardens as their nesting territory. I did not expect to find them in such an urban habitat, but apparently the coast of Lake Michigan is just marshy enough. And I should have known to look for them. Red-winged Blackbirds of Chicago made news last summer, bad news.

Shedd Aquarium
This guy served as sentry for the nests (pluralized since they are polygynous) in the hedge below. I watched him attack Seagulls whose flight path was cutting too close to the his genetic investment. 13 June 2009

This male showed no signs of attack. He was quite tolerant of a paparazza.

The females were in general less bold than the males. They seemed to be “all business,” having nests to tend and no time to pose.


~ by finchwench on Tuesday, 7 July 2009.

One Response to “Red-winged Blackbirds in Chicago: An Introduction”

  1. Love ’em. What a handsome papa.

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