Outdoors Journal: Blackbirds on move

  • Article by: JIM GILBERT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 20, 2011 - 6:36 PM

At sunrise, an interested observer might see several thousand blackbirds leaving their roosting area, usually a low wetland area, in the space of five minutes, flying in a narrow band like a fast-moving stream. About a half-hour before sunset the same event can be seen in reverse, as blackbirds stream back to the roost.

Soon after adults stop caring for the young, blackbirds begin to flock together. Each night in summer, until they move farther south later in fall, huge congregations of common grackles, red-winged blackbirds and brown-headed cowbirds, all members of the blackbird family, will fly from their feeding grounds to their roosts, creating the largest and most commonly observed groups of land birds in North America.

Assemblies of red-wings reach a peak in about mid-October, and grackle flocks are at their peak a bit later. Slowly, as the season progresses, the enormous flights drift south into Iowa and beyond.

JIM GILBERT

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta - LP: A. Wood 0 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: A. Bastardo 1
Cleveland - LP: D. Salazar 5 FINAL
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 7
Toronto - LP: R. Dickey 0 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: K. Gibson 7
Seattle - LP: J. Beimel 6 FINAL
Texas - WP: P. Figueroa 8
Los Angeles 2 Bottom 7th Inning
San Francisco 0
Colorado - F. Morales 5:40 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
St. Louis - A. Wainwright 6:05 PM
Washington - T. Jordan
Milwaukee - Y. Gallardo 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
NY Yankees - C. Sabathia 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - D. Price
Toronto - D. McGowan 6:10 PM
Minnesota - M. Pelfrey
Boston - J. Lester 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Sale
Kansas City - J. Shields 7:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Philadelphia 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Chicago 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Minnesota 8:30 PM
Colorado
Los Angeles 9:30 PM
San Jose
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close