[CT Birds] early red-wings

Paul Waterman canterburygardener at gmail.com
Thu Jan 28 14:26:29 EST 2010


Here in Canterbury we have had immense flocks of 'blackbirds'. They consist
predominantly of common grackles. The largest arrived toward the end of
December, with a number of at least 5000 birds. Mixed in with the common
grackles are smaller numbers of brown-headed cowbirds, Red-winged
blackbirds, and a few rusty blackbirds and boattailed grackles. There are
few if any starlings, of which I have seen none in the last few weeks. The
last big flock of at least 3000 birds I entered into ebird and got the same
message "are you sure". I also got the same message when entering 3 Hermit
thrushes. I assume they set different thresholds for different species. This
is the third year in a row for these winter superflocks. I do have a
question. How do these immense flocks of birds sustain themselves through
the winter?

On Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 12:53 PM, Tammy Eustis <
teustis at killingworthlibrary.org> wrote:

> Last weekend (the 23rd) in Chester, we had a huge mixed flock of blackbirds
> - 1,000 individuals, by my guesstimate (clumping groups of 10, then 50, then
> 100s). We've never seen a flock that large; they absolutely filled the
> surrounding woods, lawn, and trees. About half of the birds were grackles,
> with the remaining half made up of redwings, starlings, and cowbirds. (I
> reported this on Cornell's Project Feederwatch, and the system popped up an
> "Are you sure?" message regarding the count. Yes, I was sure! My family as
> my witness.)
> Over the winter of 2008-2009, we had a pair of redwings frequenting the
> feeder on a regular basis, which is the only time that's happened. The large
> flock was the first we'd seen of them this season. I have to look back at my
> past entries, to check the dates of past blackbird winter "invasions".
> - Tammy Eustis, Chester
> -----Original Message-----
> From: alan samet [mailto:rosesamfam at snet.net]
> Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2010 12:38 PM
> To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
> Subject: [CT Birds] early red-wings
>
> Thrus. Jan. 28th, backyard feeder, Clinton, Ct. 5 red-wing blackbirds mixed
> in small flock of starlings. I usually do not see red-wings till March?
> What's up? Freyda Rose _______________________________________________ This
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