the endangered Tri-Coloured Blackbird

Lenny La Rue, IPA

Sacramento, United States

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Artist's Description

The last time I came to the Vic Fazio Wetlands, the blackbirds were plentiful when I asked the ranger what type they were. Unfortunately, “plentiful” in my opinions wasn’t the actual condition, she told me, and both the tri-coloured and red-winged varieties were struggling to survive in Northern California. Where I saw tens of thousands, there should have been millions, making my shooting of them as individuals completely impossible that day.

This weekend however, the numbers were significantly higher, tho I’m not sure if that was because there were simply more about or more surviving this year. Having just the 70-300mm telephoto lens available for a while, I concentrated upon the task of getting some good shots of them while I could.

Tri-Coloured Blackbirds aren’t very consistant in their HTL’s (human tolerance levels, or how much trouble a subject gives me when I want a shot and it knows it. ;-) ). They would either flock so close that, when they take wing, you’re both dazzled and discomforted or they will spook 100 yards away and fly back to the same spot even if you’re closer than before. LOL! Individuals seems to have different HTL’s too: some will stay close when you stay in the vehicle, and some will spook no matter what. The only consistency I could find was that all the females spooked all the time.

One thing is of note and I won’t be embarrassed if it’s pointed out that I am dead wrong on this. There are two types of blackbirds in my area: the tri-coloured ones and the red-winged ones. That’s not too complicated until you find that both have three colours and both have red wing chevrons. Better yet, the colour that’s not in common – yellow or white – is in a subspecies of the ones the species with the yellow. Great. Added to the fact that I’m ‘bird ignorant’ and colourblind, both birds look alive to the computer as well. (sigh) So if someone knows the distinguishing feature(s) that make a positive identification possible between these two trickster feathered monsters, please share the info and I’ll make labeling adjustments as needed. Thanks! :-)

Artwork Comments

  • totty23
  • Lenny La Rue, IPA
  • Chris Clark
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  • Lenny La Rue, IPA
  • janniev
  • Lenny La Rue, IPA
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