[CT Birds] Red-winged Blackbirds and Spring

twomirers at comcast.net twomirers at comcast.net
Tue Feb 25 11:04:36 EST 2014

This morning (Tues.) in Moodus, 27 Red-winged Blackbirds nestled in winterberry shrubs. Not sure what they were eating though, since the fruit has been gone for weeks. Don’t even know if this would qualify as a food source for them since they eat mostly weed and grain seeds in winter. 

I’ve never thought of the presence of these blackbirds as a sign of spring. There are often a few around in CT throughout the winter. And the same for Robins. For me, the sign of spring is the transition to daylight savings time (just 2.5 weeks away). This totally artificial human invention sets the mood more than the arrival of any particular avian migrant. Not dark until after 7 p.m.-I love it (no, I am not a SADist). 

“Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.”

---------Opening stanza of Wallace Stevens’ “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”
(Stanza VII opens: “O thin men of Haddam.......” I guess I qualify)

Rob Mirer

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