Blackbirds behaving badly

Male Red-winged Blackbirds have no tolerance for each other, kind of like politicians these days.

red-winged blackbird-confrontations-

Arguments over who controls the food sourceĀ lead to a face-off


A lot of the puffed chest, wing display, and flared tail is for show, but sometimes beaks and feet get used as weapons


One bird may get its toes pinched by the other’s beak


Flying backwards is a useful skill for getting away from anĀ aggressor


8 thoughts on “Blackbirds behaving badly

  1. Fantastic action sequence, Sue. I’ve heard lots of male blackbirds screaming out at intruders,but I’ve never seen them in a scuffle like this. Are these images from your workshop?

    • Yes, they are. I’ve been sifting through the literally thousands of images and have discovered some really interesting interactions. They happen so quickly, you can’t really appreciate it in real time, but the camera captures the whole sequence and then you can sit down and dissect what’s going on.

      • From what you have shown, that was an amazing workshop. Almost without exception, the shots of birds in flight that I take are from long distance. They don’t have the same kind of interest that your shots have, which are much more intimate and up-close.

        • Mike, the technique is simple, but the set-up is what makes it work. You would really enjoy these workshops. Alan takes great pains to make it all work, and is an excellent coach on how best to use your equipment. However, he takes just 5-6 people per workshop and is booked at least a year in advance. He might do workshops near(er) you, but you could check his website and see if you have any interest.

    • Thanks, Kathy. I am now a big fan of the remote shutter and rapid fire technique. Even though it generates way too many images, you do get some real gems in the batch.

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