family · Life · photography · Travel

Red-Winged Blackbird

The red-winged blackbirds begin check-check-check-ing at me as I walk down the road.

With dog, without the dog — it doesn’t matter. I’m a threat and they need to let the world, or, at the very least, their fellow blackbirds know that danger approaches.

They sit on fenceposts, telephone wires, tree branches, cattails, and other tall weeds.

Red-winged blackbird speck

I have stopped on multiple occasions to try to snap pictures of them. I either end up with a tiny speck of a bird or empty wires, branches, etc.

They flee from the fenceposts when I stop walking. I can’t focus on taking a picture while walking. My phone is my camera, nothing fancy for zooming in. Walking pictures are a mess.

Frankly, I’ve given up on photographing them.

For me, the red-winged blackbirds must be enjoyed from a distance or in my periphery. As abundant as they are, they are also too elusive for me to photograph well.

Sometimes life is like that, don’t you think? It simply can’t be tackled head-on. We can’t stop and savor each little thing, but we can enjoy the brief moments as they pass.

Now the birds that have taken up residence in our birdhouse tease me in the same way. One tiny nondescript bird sits on the chimney of birdhouse, singing merrily, until I get out my phone/camera. I look to find the camera icon on my screen, look back up, and she’s gone. Either both birds in the pair are blasé brown, or I haven’t seen the mister.


I need to improve my mental camera when I see them or my memory of their song or create some other method if I ever hope to identify these occupants.

Or, maybe I need to stop worrying about it and enjoy the moment.

Does everything have to have a name? Does everything have to be captured and held?

In our instant electronic gadgety techno age, we’ve lost the looking-out-of-windows and being-in-the-moment.

Sometimes I wonder if children riding in the car down the east coast of the United States even see the Pedro billboards. Or, in rural Nebraska or Iowa, if they see the monotony of corn fields. Or is that when they’re busy watching Frozen for the umpteenth time?

Because if they miss Pedro and the corn, they’ll most certainly miss the many red-winged blackbirds check-check-check-ing from the fencepost.

13 thoughts on “Red-Winged Blackbird

  1. I really liked this post, and not just because I’m a bird fan. You made a lot of good points and observations. Ones that got me thinking a bit, too.

  2. I love birds…. and red-winged blackbirds very much! There is a marshy area in a community park near my home… I go there sometimes and just sit on the bench and listen to their beautiful calls and song and watch as they bounce on cattail plants and reeds. Lovely post.

    1. We have such an abundance of red-winged blackbirds this year! I love to watch them, too — especially when they take off and flash their red and yellow chevron at me.

  3. Those red winged blackbirds can be quite territorial this time of year. The males will defend their territory if you’re passing too close to the nest.

    1. And I must definitely walk right past a nest because I can count on angry scolding from one bird in the same spot every time.

  4. What an excellent observation on modern life and it’s sad pitfalls. And the truth of just being and just seeing.

    1. Life is certainly different for young people today. I can’t help but wonder if the rise in things like yoga or tai chi have to do with an inner need to slow down as much as exercise.

      1. I’m certain that is the case. I have my eldest staying for a week and she was talking about trying to make more time in her marriage. She talked about taking Tai Chi with her husband (she is a yoga bunny, he is not so interested and spends his leisure time swimming and running) … I have encouraged it. To slow down together must be a good recipe for their future!

Comments are closed.