[CT Birds] early Red-wings

Larson Eric eric_r_larson at hotmail.com
Thu Jan 28 19:30:51 EST 2010


Sorry, the second link, for the migration study, should be http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1146&context=icwdm_usdanwrc
 


From: eric_r_larson at hotmail.com
To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
Subject: RE: early Red-wings
Date: Thu, 28 Jan 2010 17:16:25 -0500



Tammy and Freyda -
 
The first sightings of Redwing Blackbirds for 2010 are tallied on this map (bear in mind it can't be inclusive)  - http://www.learner.org/jnorth/maps/current_spring.html?layers=rwblackbird.  Several sightings have already occurred north of CT.  For what it's worth, a banding study from the late '70's indicates that in January/February, the RWB's mass only a few hundred miles south from their nesting/reproductive banding sites in the northeast http://www.learner.org/jnorth/maps/current_spring.html?layers=rwblackbird.  
 
A few things come to mind - the birds are not long-distance migrants, so if the seasons fluctuate a bit, they could return to their nesting sights or stopping points in between pretty quickly, given the short distance between winter and reproductive roosts (covering 30-50 miles a day a flock could sweep home in a week or so).
 
Secondly, species variation is a rule, so while there may be an mean or median average for the species' migration timeframe, some individuals ( and some flocks ) will come earlier and some later.  This is a central basis for adaptation.  The early birds or stragglers may not meet the same fate as the bulk of the flock, for better or for worse, but if conditions are changing, whoever makes it will likely pass on characteristics to their offspring that help ensure the species continues.
 
Lastly, while a few hundred redwings may seem like a huge sighting, it's a small number compared to the population as a whole, so you may have been lucky to witness the phenomenon.
 
Not sure if any of that was helpful, but hope it is,
 
Eric 

> 
> 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 list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut. For subscription information visit http://lists.ctbirding.org/mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 2
> Date: Thu, 28 Jan 2010 12:55:09 -0500
> From: <jayne.amico at cox.net>
> To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
> Subject: Re: [CT Birds] early red-wings
> Message-ID: <20100128125509.E2962.171103.imail at eastrmwml43>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8
> 
> CT Birders -
> 
> I too have had a couple of male red wings here since the last warm up, had a single grackle come through as well. These birds usually are not very far away and I am sure the warm weather had them moving back. Do not think I have ever been able to count a red wing or grackle here in January. But have seen both in Feb. They are not looking too happy today, but I have put food on the ground for them in easy reach.
> 
> The last several warm weeks really got the birds hormones going. Just a few days ago turkeys were displaying in field in Cheshire. The bluebirds have been all over the boxes and appear to be paired up. Our resident Carolina wren has been waking us at dawn every morning the last week or so with song , unpaired since he lost his female back in December. Woodpeckers are drumming and calling and the cardinals and doves had all begun to sing until today!
> 
> BTW I had a pair of golden- crowned kinglets the last few days, and a pair of Ravens eating roadkill up the street.
> 
> -
> Jayne
> 
> 
> Jayne Amico
> Southington, CT
> www.mvssanctuary.org
> 
> ---- alan samet <rosesamfam at snet.net> wrote: 
> > 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 list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut.
> > For subscription information visit http://lists.ctbirding.org/mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org
> 
> 
> 
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> ------------------------------
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> _______________________________________________
> This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut.
> For subscription information visit http://lists.ctbirding.org/mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org
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> End of CTBirds Digest, Vol 1068, Issue 2
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