2021—Four and Twenty Blackbirds

Four and twenty blackbirds! These Blackbirds weren’t baked in a pie but that nursery rhyme came to mind when massive flocks of undulating Blackbirds (Brewer’s, Yellow-headed, Red-winged, and maybe a few Starlings) swooped around the ponds and fields at Bosque del Apache last week. Although we witnessed none of the Snow Geese blastoffs that we’re used to seeing at Bosque, the Blackbird murmurations certainly got our attention. This flock appears to be mostly brownish females so none of the bright red wing bars or yellow heads of males of various Blackbird species break the monotony of the flock but the sheer numbers and density are still mighty impressive. It was fun to try to photograph their flight patterns but when we were concentrating on photographing Snow Geese or Sandhill Cranes, the photo-bombing Blackbird flock lost its appeal.