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Friday, August 06, 2010

What bird is that?


What bird is this you may wonder. It sure does't look like a Red-winged Blackbird. Where's the red, where's the black?

This is a juvenile Red-winged Blackbird. The term “juvenile” refers to the first full plumage that a bird has when leaving the nest. You can see that this bird looks a little like an adult female, but has a more rich golden-buff ground color to its body and head (an adult female has a paler, whiter ground color to its body and head). Also, young birds at this time of year (late summer) have all new fresh feathers with little or no wear; adult birds at this same time have worn feathers, often looking very frayed at the edges. In juvenile plumage, the male and female look alike.

This juvenile will go through a molt from July to November, replacing most of its feathers. When done, male and female will look different, the female streaked brownish and whitish and the male more blackish with paler mottling.

You can really learn a lot by looking closely at the birds in your yard. Now is a good time to be on the lookout for juvenile birds.

What's that sound we hear?? Could it be the sound of a printing press, printing out a book? Guess whose book it is.

Have a great weekend.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Cannot wait for your new field guide... On a related note, I just saw my first Painted Bunting on a visit to Texas.