27 days - Headingley 14PA12 - and the Breeding Bird Atlas

Headingley 14PA12 is shared between Headingley and the RM of Rosser. The Assiniboine River meanders from west to east through the square. Land on either side of the river was settled using the river lot pattern and the banks of the river support large trees. The square is more rural in its western half and more suburban or urban in the east. The eastern half of Beaudry Provincial Park is included in this square.

At the time of posting, 105 observations had been uploaded by 36 observers led by @buckyd54 . 92 species have been identified here -- plants (39) in the lead with birds (30) next in line. The most frequently observed organism is Ostrich Fern (3). Lots of room to fill in the blanks here.

These same grid squares were used by the survey teams who put together the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas and their work is a great resource to draw on. The data gathered from each square surveyed can be obtained by entering the grid code on this page. This is the actual results for grid square 14PA12. The sheet provides a short list of the habitats found in the square - mature broadleaf forest, agriculture/open country and urban/unclassified. 46 different species of birds were confirmed to be breeding in this square during the survey period - 97 species in total were observed during the breeding season.

Let's have a look at the Red-winged Blackbird. The summary sheet tells us that there is 100% chance that this bird can be found nesting in every survey square in the Red River Valley. Supposing that you are unfamiliar with this bird, you can find more info about its distribution in Manitoba and preferred habitat in the atlas species account You can use this info to find out under what situations you might observe them.

The Red-winged Blackbird breeds in an exceptional variety of wetland types, both freshwater and saline, and also in sedge meadows, wooded riparian edges, roadside ditches, towns and suburban greenspaces, and in fields of hay, alfalfa, or even annual crops

One can see from that description why the atlas suggests the 100% chance. Those new to bird identification or wanting to sort out two similar species will find a great resource at Cornell Labs All About Birds. They also have a field guide app - Merlin - that you can put on your phone. Here's their info for the Red-winged Blackbird. There are notes on the birds behaviour and examples of its calls and song.

Male Red-winged Blackbirds do everything they can to get noticed, sitting on high perches and belting out their conk-la-ree! song all day long.

The distinct fieldmarks and recognizable behaviour and song make these birds a good species to get to know as a beginner birder. It also makes them easier to identify even from images that you might not consider your best wildlife photography. On iNaturalist, images need to show evidence of the organism - loveliness is a bonus but not essential.

eBird shows 29,853 observations of Red-winged blackbirds in Manitoba. At the time of posting, there are 86 observations of Red-winged Blackbirds in the Red River Valley region of Manitoba. To me this seems a little low - Maybe we can change that this year. And while you are chasing your blackbird observation, please keep an eye out for other organisms found nearby... perhaps you might find some cattail, willow or even an insect or two .

Publicado por marykrieger marykrieger, 02 de abril de 2021

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