Date: 2/25/17 10:54 am
From: bob mcguire <bmcguire...>
Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Massive Blackbird Flock
I encountered a massive flock of blackbirds this morning near the DEC Headquarters building at the end of Morgan Road - one of the best sightings I have had so far this year (along with the Gyrfalcon, Snowy Owls, and vocalizing Iceland Gulls on PEI). The flock contained Common Grackles, Red-winged Blackbirds, and Brown-headed Cowbirds (no Rusty Blackbirds that I could pick out) and was alternately foraging on the ground and moving amoung the trees. It is difficult to estimate numbers with such a large and mobile target, but I can confidently say that there were at least 2,000 Red-wings, 800 Grackles, and 60 Cowbirds. Among the red-wings there were a few females (the males typically arrive first; the females much later) and many first - year males that, on first glance, looked like females. The flock was quite vocal, the volume overwhelming (much like an evening crow roost).

Bob McGuire
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