BIRDS IN AUTUMN

Here is a Red-Winged Blackbird and a Common Raven I saw on a morning autumn walk.

Red-winged blackbirds live near fresh water areas and open spaces like fields and prairies. The males are glossy black with scarlet and yellow shoulder patches. The female are streaky brown with a paler breast and white eyebrows. They eat insects, grains, and seeds. Their nests are found on plants with upright stems close to the ground or near the water surface in a marsh. They roost in flocks and the males have many female mates. Red-winged blackbirds are known to be very athletic flyers.

Common Ravens are the largest bird in the crow family, twice as heavy as an American crow. They have a very thick, black beaks and can have a wingspan up to three and a half feet. Ravens soar and dip above trees and are capable of aerial flight, similar to birds of prey. They have a wedge-shaped tail seen while they soar. Ravens will eat anything including seeds, nuts, fruits, carrion, small animals, and human garbage. There are eight sub-species of ravens with little variation. They generally reside in open and forest areas in western and northern North America. Ravens are known for their intelligence, adaptability, and mischievousness.

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