Date: 3/2/17 6:36 am From: Douglas Harr <dnharr...> Subject: [ia-bird] Countless blackbirds at Ogden
About 7:25 this morning I looked out our front windows and watched a massive mixed blackbird flock flying over Ogden (Boone Co.) The line continued *nonstop for 8-9 minutes*, and I'm sure it had been going over before I happened to look out the window. It was impossible to count birds, but there's no doubt at least 50,000 passed overhead. That's probably a conservative estimate and doesn't include what might have flown over before I first saw them--total numbers might even have approached 100,000. Redwings and grackles were both obvious, but we often also see rusties, brewer's & cowbirds migrate through Ogden (and sometimes land in our backyard), so I suspect this flock probably had all 5 species.
It apeared like they might have been taking off from Harrier Marsh WMA/WPA on the south side of town. Gigantic numbers of blackbirds frequently roost overnight on Harrier Marsh in both spring and fall migrations. If you're not familiar with Harrier Marsh, it is about 450 acres of restored prairie and wetlands--some of the best stopover habitat in central Iowa.