Songs of Spring – Red-winged Blackbirds

Red-winged Blackbird maleRed-winged Blackbird male – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Yesterday while taking the auto tour route at Bear River National Wildlife Refuge I heard a Red-winged Blackbird loudly singing the songs of spring. The light was terrible yesterday so I looked around in my files for a male Red-winged Blackbird to share this morning and came across this one taken at Bear River NWR a few years ago.

I’ve mentioned before that black birds are difficult to expose properly and that often times I need to use exposure compensation to make sure the blacks aren’t too dark or they won’t show fine detail but when I took this image the light was just right and I didn’t need to adjust my exposure to get it right. I love it when that happens!

Fairly soon I’ll be seeing many more of the male Red-winged Blackbirds perching at the top of rushes and cattails singing springtime serenades for the females and flashing their brilliantly colored epaulets! For black birds they are kind of flashy.

Mia

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