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06/10/2011

Blackbird awakening

David Cooper - Chief Photographer

EDITOR'S NOTE: We differ to the knowledge of all the birders out there. We now believe they are Grackles!

It starts sometime after 4:30am.

A constant squawking, clucking noise.

"Blackbirds singing in the dead of night" the Paul McCartney song comes to mind‚ but it sure doesn't resemble singing IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT.

Every morning for the last few days constant squawking literally outside our bedroom window. (they sit on the eavestrough above our open window as I later discovered).

Blackbirds, a pair of them looking after a fledgling sitting in our Lilac tree. I even saw one of them catch a bug in mid air then fly over near the lilac and of course squawk for a while before feeding the baby bird.

The parents don't seem to be alarmed at me being in the yard. As you can see they fed the fledge several times as I watched with my 70-200mm lens from at most 10 metres.

Midday seems to be siesta time so the noise is now less constant throttled back to occasional.

I shot most of this with the 70-200mm zoom (my go to midrange lens), with spot focus and auto exposure in RAW mode. I finally gave in at got my 300mm but by then it was sleepy time. the tight shots of just the baby in the shade at made with it. 

DC_2011BBird_01
The blackbird holds breakfast for its fledgling.

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The blackbird runs across the eaves over the bedroom.

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The blackbird carries a little fluff.

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Blackbirds, a pair of them looking after a fledgling sitting in our Lilac tree.

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Blackbirds, a pair of them looking after a fledgling sitting in our Lilac tree. They sit on our eaves over near the lilac and of course squawk for a while before feeding the baby bird.

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The fledgling looking for a meal. 

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The fledgling sitting in our Lilac tree scores a meal.

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The Fledging dozes in the shade of midday. It seems to be siesta time so the noise is now less constant, throttled back to occasional.

 

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What superb photographs!

I think these are actually Grackles..but beautiful pictures fer sure!

I believe this is a Common Grackle.

Common Grackles are really beautiful birds. Nice photos!

Excellent photographs, David!

I'm loving all of the beautiful shots of wildlife being displayed in the Star's gallery.

Those are Common Grackles (Quiscalus quiscula; http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/common_grackle/id ), not blackbirds. Beautiful photos!

rotten Grackles. We've seen them take babies from other nests and fly over the pool and drop them in. This has happened several times.

These are lovely photos, but given your'e in southern Ontario it's unlikely a blackbirds (Brewer's Blackbird would be most likely). I'm pretty sure your photos show the Common Grackle. See the ROM field guide for photo and call sound: http://www.rom.on.ca/ontario/fieldguides.php?distribution=35&taxon=3&doc_type=fieldguide&page_no=5

Great photos. (Those are Grackles, by the way. Yes, quite loud and gregarious - rather bossy birds).

I think these are actually grackles.

Beautiful shots ... particularly that last one of the fledgling. Thanks !

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