Thursday, August 3, 2017


I had a nondescript brown bird often visiting my deck and feeders.  I hadn't been able to figure out what kind of bird it was.

Sometimes it would stand on my deck fencing.  It wasn't fearful like some breeds, which fly off at my first move.

It visited my feeders often.  Its coloring was a subdued, streaking brown.  At first I thought it was a large dark sparrow, but the bird app pictures didn't match my bird.

It also reminded me of the female House Finch, but much larger. 

Then I heard the familiar musical trill and saw the flash of orange of a Red-winged Blackbird.  Could it be?

Yes, after consulting my sources, I learned my little brown bird is the female Red-winged Blackbird.  I never would have guessed she was related to the showy, glossy black male.  Brown and nondescript?  Yes, but she's a beauty in her own right.


  1. Nice sharp pictures. Did you shoot these in raw or jpg? I was wondering also why I can't bring them up large?

  2. Thanks! I definitely shot jpeg. You convinced me. Used exposure compensation too. I don't know why you couldn't bring them up, unless it's because I locked them when I was cropping them.

  3. Great shots of your "mystery bird," Karen! I knew that Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are sexually dimorphic, but I did not know that was also true of Red-winged Blackbirds. Thanks for this interesting and informative post!

  4. Thanks, Jan. Always happy to bring new learning.

  5. Yes, she is. She spends a lot of time at my feeders. I'm surprised she's not chunkier.