The Red-winged Blackbird is a very flashy bird. The red and yellow on its shoulders and wings reflect the sun's light and add to their sleek appearance.
I was sure that I would get a good picture because there were so many. Well, I was wrong again. The RW Blackbirds came and went, all day long - every day, but not in my yard. They were always about 40 yards away, at best.
They mixed with Brewer's Blackbirds, Rusty Blackbirds and Common Grackles. It was also common to find them slightly behind each of these birds or a squirrel or a rabbit. Try as I might, the good picture just did not materialize.
However, I chose a few pictures to illustrate the special features of the RW Blackbird. In this shot where the bird is lifting off from the feeder, its red shoulders are obvious. The red is sitting on the shoulder and the yellow is a part of the wing.
The shape of this Blackbird is really nice. I chose this blurred image of this bird lifting off from the grass and "solarized" it to better outline its frame. As I look at my shots from my trip to Arkansas, I realize that I missed many, many good shots.
However, that is not all that uncommon. It takes a lot of time studying a bird and adjusting to its habits, distance and all of the other extraneous factors to get a good shot. These beautiful bird photos in books and on the Internet, even Flickr, take hours of time and expertise to create. Knowing that is what makes a great picture so pleasing.
Well, all was not lost!
When I went to Eureka Springs and set up in the bird blind for about 15 minutes, this very differently marked brown streaked bird showed up to check me out. I took three shots before it left and they all turned out "OK."
I really didn't know what I had, but I did know that the bird was close enough for me to get clear images that I could use to research this different bird.
Well, much to my surprise and delight, I found that this is a female Red-wing Blackbird. How is it that not one single female showed up in the neighbor's feeder when so many males did? While the colors are so different the general, overall shape of the female is very similar to the male, although this one does seem to be a little more plump. Maybe it's because the male is the one getting all of the exercise going for food to bring back to her.