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Red-winged Blackbirds… And Their Babies!

Another nearby nest, with hatchlings! Since Red-winged Blackbirds nest in loose colonies, there’s no dearth of nesting activity, if one’s looking closely enough in our dense marshes. This clutch consisted of three eggs β€” typical for the species. The eggs were incubated by the female alone, and hatched within 11 to 12 days. Red-winged Blackbirds are born blind and naked, but will be ready to leave the nest 11 to 14 days after hatching. Every time the wind rustled the leaves of this nest, the hatchlings were up and chirping for food….

Female Red-winged Blackbird Feeds the Hatchlings at Her Nest

Red-winged Blackbird Hatchlings Wait for Their Meal

Red-winged Blackbird Hatchlings Wait for Their Meal

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48 Comments Post a comment
  1. I like knowing what the female red-winged blackbird looks like. πŸ™‚ I’ve seen the males a-plenty. well, I’ve probably seen the females a lot too, but didn’t realize. Enjoying your blog and pics!

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! Exactly, I had been seeing the females for years before I knew what I was seeing, hah! They really are much shyer though, and stay closer to the water’s surface (or in the marsh/swamp vegetation). Not like their male counterparts, who are quite in your face. πŸ™‚

      April 17, 2012
  2. Interesting ! Great captures !

    April 18, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! Your images are beautiful β€” I just peeked at your frogs! πŸ™‚

      April 18, 2012
  3. marialla #

    Oh How very lovely!!! Soon I hope to see some geese babies. I wonder what they will look like. I think a bit bigger but we shall see – hopefully I WILL NOT MISS THAT PRECIOUS MOMENT. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR SUCH PRECIOUS MOMENTS AND PICTUES. kEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!! Mari

    April 18, 2012
  4. So cute the baby birds!! “FEED ME, FEED ME!” Great shots.

    April 19, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! I love those babies β€” I always try to snap them while the parents are off and about looking for grub, so as to not disturb them. Wish they were a bit clearer, but they were further in the marsh.

      April 19, 2012
  5. I am in heaven! These are the kinds of things I love to see photographs of and have done a little myself just for pure fun!! ehjoyed πŸ™‚

    April 19, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! Ditto β€” it brings me GREAT joy to photograph these guys, and their surroundings. They’re so lovely. I’m glad you enjoyed as much as I did. πŸ™‚

      April 19, 2012
  6. I love these pictures! If you don’t mind me asking β€”Β what size lense do you use?

    April 19, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! Absolutely not, I should put this info upfront β€” it’s a Canon Rebel, and for these images I was using a 55 – 250 mm telephoto. The shy females especially were lurking in the swamp/marshy areas… πŸ™‚

      April 19, 2012
  7. What amazing and tender shots!

    April 19, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! They’re wonderful subjects; I do wish I had a better angle and lens, but I love nesting and baby season (how can you not?!?). πŸ™‚

      April 19, 2012
  8. Hello! Can’t remember how I found my way here, but I love your site! The little ones are just perfect..so amazing!

    April 19, 2012
    • Heh! You sound like me. πŸ™‚ Well, I’m happy you found your way!! Thanks so very much β€” aren’t the babies just amazing? The other evening I saw even tinier hatchlings, but was unable to get a good shot… The parents were becoming manic with my presence, as they were trying to feed. I didn’t want to cause any undo upset.

      April 20, 2012
      • I can understand! They do get “manic”. Wonderful to see such little ones πŸ™‚

        April 20, 2012
  9. Thanks for a great blog. I gave you a Bean’s Pat on my blog today, which is about egrets.

    April 19, 2012
    • Ah, how very nice! Thanks so much for the link and the kind words! I have some egret baby shots, too… They’re some of my FAVORITES (I’ve actually made them part of the home)! Go to the page Wildlife β€”β€”> Egrets, within the top main toolbar. πŸ™‚

      April 20, 2012
  10. Great photos. I had two black-cap chickadee nestlings fledge from the yard box yesterday. After spying six eggs originally, and finding out that they are in decline in recent years, I felt proud to have hosted the pair and have two survive to fly. Now I have a bluebird nesting in the other yard box with four eggs at last count. Busy around here!

    May 2, 2012
    • Thanks so much! Aw, that’s so WONDERFUL…. It’s sad they’re in decline, but how great that you’ve created a habitat in your space, for them to thrive! It’s so crucial in our culture/society to do so, I firmly believe. It doesn’t take much for each person to provide a wee bit of food, water, and shelter for these guys… πŸ™‚

      May 3, 2012
  11. Thanks for letting me camp out in your blog today. I had a great time and tried to leave my campsite as clean as when I arrived.

    May 8, 2012
    • You’re so very welcome… Thanks for visiting!! πŸ™‚

      May 8, 2012
  12. Guys There are some of those near my pond in healthy reeds and the mother does not hate me for coming near her nest she just flies around until i go away but they are the last nest alive the rest of the nest have dead eggs or shriveled remain ts of babes and one has hatched but the eggs are white with brown speckles so they are a mixed up group still they are beautiful please tell me when you have found out whats going on.

    July 1, 2012
    • Hmmmm…. I’m not sure if they’re red-winged blackbird eggs, by the sounds of it! Perhaps some were left by another bird? Unincubated?

      July 6, 2012
  13. guys i found a nest with a egg but it was a pooped in nest and the rest of the eggs were gone no birds go in that nest so i held that egg and i feel life in it please help me. I’m warming it with a reptile lamp but not too close a nice warm air and a fake nest but i need to make sure if you guys can help me take care of it. it has a dent on the egg like the chick was about to get out early but it decided to rest a while longer i can even see a bit of the inside but the chick ha not hatched reply please!!

    July 6, 2012
    • Wow, you’re so good for caring for it!! It sounds as though momma left the nest. 😦 Scared off by predators or people, perhaps. Do you have a wildlife care center you can call? We have an SPCA Wildlife Care place down here, for instance….

      July 6, 2012
  14. oh an by the way the second chick hatched but the third one was rotten so i geuss the male or female went and disposed of it.

    July 6, 2012
  15. Well today the chicks were gone but a pink bag was near the nest and no feathers where in the nest even though the babies don’t have loose feathers but they are too big to be moved by the mother and they are only big enough to hop but i really think somebody could have stole them. i don’t have a clue.

    July 13, 2012
  16. oh and no i don’t think we have a center that would really care for them either.

    July 13, 2012
    • I’m so sorry…. I know people in your situation who have done their best to rescue them, themselves, because they’ve had no other resources. I wonder what was happening, here…??

      July 14, 2012
  17. the egg was rotten but the day i took him inside was the last day he lived because the egg had dents in it and now it’s gone i felt a beating heart but now it’s lost I wanna cry but I can’t or the computer will short out.

    July 13, 2012
    • I’m so very sorry… It sounds as though there wasn’t a chance, since the egg was damaged. There was just nothing you could do! You tried! β™₯

      July 14, 2012
  18. people are so cruel sometimes i just wish it would end. I wish the death and evil would leave.
    I love animals and some people treat them like a punching bag. I was on youtube bored and i clicked on a video about a kitten named ugly it made me cry 2 times!! why ugly why!! It reminds me of careless people and what they do to birds and animals.

    July 13, 2012
    • Ugh, I try my absolute best NOT to visit such horrific images / stories… I know it’s out there, and all we can do is help in any way we can, those with no voice otherwise, and love them. I like to think that the tide against this abuse and cruel behavior is turning, thanks to the word spreading… Things ARE different now, but I know each story of abuse hurts to the core, to no end. (I’ve rescued many, many critters.) Many, many blessings to you… Keep trying, and (@*#*#!) the others who may be doing otherwise. β™₯

      July 14, 2012
  19. Oh they weren’t horrifice it was just a sad story The birds are gone and sombody might have taken them they were too big for moving but they couldn’t have jumped out but they had eyes opened.

    July 28, 2012
    • Well, I hope they’re OK β€” you’re right, somebody definitely may have rescued them!!

      July 30, 2012
  20. Well The thing is i just found a dead bird in the pond…. * tears go down eyes* there was a struggle.

    August 4, 2012
    • One can only hope that it was a natural struggle β€” something that would have occurred naturally. It’s so wonderful to know that the birds were being loved, regardless of their end. β™₯

      August 4, 2012
  21. I found the killer…… and i threw it in the pond…… it was a snake and i found it attacking another nest it was a water snake i kicked it in the pond……….. I hope it wasn’t poisonous…. O.O

    August 8, 2012
    • AH! Well, at least it was all the doings of the NATURAL world! We have MANY water snakes here, too… And while I know MOST aren’t poisonous, there’s always the water moccasin, heh!

      August 9, 2012
  22. It bit me it turns out it was some random snake……. but i found out it wasn’t a water snake either…. cause it’s dead now XD I’m relieved that i did that. Even if it kills another animal i try to do my best on saving baby animals. Kinda like warriors when the cats pare fighting to survive. i love that book so emotional.

    August 19, 2012
  23. gregjoder #

    Love those little hungry beaks – Fun photos!

    July 4, 2014
    • Hee, I loved spying these guys, throughout the process from nest-building to them leaving it!

      July 9, 2014
  24. You have a good rapport with nature and the birds trust you and your lens. I enjoy viewing your photos. You have no idea how I’ve tried to get photos of the red-winged blackbirds. Maybe someday.

    We have a scrub jay in my neighborhood and I’ve set the intention of photographing that tricky bird this summer. It’s out of region and hangs out with the stellar jays.

    July 5, 2015
    • You’re so very kind… THANK you, thank you! I’m lucky to have the opportunity to photograph them β€” that’s honestly most of the trick! πŸ™‚

      And β€” I adore the jays! Being in the Corvidae family, they’re quite wily and smart guys. Here’s my lucky catch of them: https://serenityspell.com/2012/06/18/a-sweet-and-radiant-jay/

      I hope you get to snap a few of these wonderful guys, too! LOVE the scrub jays. Can’t wait to see your captures!

      July 5, 2015
  25. Isabel #

    What do you feed the babies??

    May 28, 2016
    • You may wish to check with a wildlife rehabilitator on that β€” I’ve only seen them in the wild, and haven’t done rescue on these guys. Rescuing babies is always quite tricky (and often people mistake healthy bird babies as abandoned, when in actuality they’re not).

      Good luck!

      May 28, 2016

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