The absence of leaves on the trees and plants can reveal some of High Park’s many moving animals. Late last week, some House Sparrows were seen in a woody plant near Grenadier Pond! They were in a large group, busy chirping away, but there was also a different bird with them. This bird was a bit larger and looked very dark. In taking a few steps to get closer and have a better look, this bird had black feathers but also faint yellow and reddish-orange colours on its shoulders. Right then and there, we knew that the Red-winged blackbirds were back!
These migratory birds left early in the fall and their return to High Park is one of the first signs that spring is near! The iconic colours on this bird’s shoulders may not be as noticeable now but the breeding season is right around the corner. Soon, this territorial bird will have a new set of fresh feathers and won’t be shy about showing them off.
In the warmer days to come, be sure to stop by the park and try to listen for a throaty "conk-a-ree" call. It might not be to too hard since these birds can be quite loud!