Earlier Birds

The earlier birds catch the worms?

Not always the wisest of choices in this “dog eat dog” world of survival of the fittest. Yet Blackbirds are known for taking risks by attempting to rear an early brood. But this early?

For more information, please follow the attached link to Chris Foster’s wonderful blog at Considering Birds.

Considering Birds

An insistent chirrup gave it away: a just-out-of-the-nest blackbird begging for food under the shelter of an evergreen oak. Its parents were both in close attendance, and if they’re capable of complex thought they were no doubt thinking smugly that their gamble had paid off. The blackbird is usually an early bird, but a fledged chick on February 10th is evidence of an astonishingly early breeding attempt, though by all reports not an isolated one this year. Somehow this pair had snuck around building a nest, feeding and raising a chick almost under our noses, deep in the low hedges that line a well-traversed footpath. I’d seen the male carrying a worm, rather than immediately swallowing it, but not put two and two together. I hadn’t heard him singing, nor seen either parent carrying nest material.

At dusk on that same day a different male blackbird was in full…

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