The American Robin for the New England bird photographer is the constant in the experiment of bird photography. It will be there ninety five percent of the time, and in an urban environment it will most likely be easy to approach and to photograph. Of course every Robin is different, and it might take some time to get the perfect shot. So far, my favorite place for Robins is Leverett Pond in Brookline, MA. They are always there and it is easy to find one cooperative enough for a shot. Today I observed an American Robin adding the finishing touches to a snug little nest in the crook of a tree. She will most likely soon lay her eggs. She alone has constructed her nest, and she alone will incubate her eggs and brood her chicks. The male helps with feeding and defending, though most of the work will go and has gone to the female.
The Common Grackle, a large iridescent blackbird, is another familiar sight in Spring, Summer, and Fall; though unlike the Robin, it does not stay the winters. Also unlike the Robin it is not as easy to photograph, being shyer, and of course being darkly colored. Another well-known blackbird, and a flocking buddy of the Grackle is the Red-winged Blackbird, the quintessential New England blackbird. It, along with the Grackle is known for its massive non-breeding flocks which can reach numbers in the tens of thousands.
Header image (above):
Wilson's Snipe in Boston
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" I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn."
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Weird things I've seen squirrels eating in my backyard:
• whole donut
• whole bagel
• snickers bar out of the wrapper
• whole potato
• Mass Audubon
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• Maine Birding Listserv
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