RWBB baby time

There are lots of Red-winged Blackbird (RWBB) nests in our wetland at this time of year – and they’re easily recognizable. IMG_9014The females have expended enormous energy and time building these intricate woven baskets, slung between the upright branches of low marsh shrubs. IMG_9024Here is one of the busy moms sitting on her eggs  – and her chicks are just about ready to hatch!IMG_8977These hungry hatchlings in a nearby nest are only 2-3 days old. Red-winged Blackbird chicks are altricial, meaning that, “When the eggs hatch, the young are blind, uncoordinated, and dependent on care from adults.” (BioKids)P1020645Both male and female feed the young – this little brood is getting a tasty, fat green worm!P1020646I was so excited to witness this exchange between the male and the newly hatched chicks!! P1020647Once the nestlings were fed, the parent cleaned the nest by removing this fecal sac, the capsule-like object (wrapped in a white mucous membrane) seen above in the male’s beak. The wonders of nature~!!IMG_9016The ever-present male RWBBs are also very protective, and faithfully guard the nesting the area, fiercely warning off any intruders.

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