[Tweeters] Avian Love class

Connie Sidles constancesidles at gmail.com
Wed Apr 2 04:03:57 PDT 2014

Hey tweets, On April 26 I’m teaching a class sponsored by UW Botanic Gardens at the CUH about avian love, i.e., how birds court, nest, and raise their young. Nothing risque, I hasten to reassure you. For anyone interested in signing up, please email me off-list. There is a discount for early signups.

At the Fill yesterday, a FOY Brown-headed Cowbird was flying around, announcing his presence to all and sundry. Not the most welcome of spring arrivals, but I suppose he can’t help it.

Also parading around was a male Brewer’s Blackbird, who was striking different poses on the wire fence of the Golf Driving Range, to the admiration of one female. The blackbirds have historically nested in the bushes around the helipad nearby, and I think this pair is going to make more blackbirds soon.

Out in the marshy cattails, the male Red-winged Blackbirds are busy establishing territory. As aggressive as they are (one nearly pecked my rearview mirror off one year because he thought his reflection was a rival), their go-to in a bar fight is to flash their epaulettes, not their epees. In the high spring sunlight, there is no red as red as theirs: rubies on black velvet.

Here is a poem for you today:

In spring the Red-winged Blackbird sings
his cranky song in the marsh,
rough disharmony among the reeds.
I guess even grumps can be in love.

—Connie, Seattle

constancesidles at gmail.com

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