As a small boy growing up in Saskatchewan, I spent a lot of time out in the bush among the swamps and Willow thickets a mile or two from our town. The bulrushes there were filled with Red Winged Blackbirds and their call haunts me to this day.
There is a large flock of them at Reifel park and their song brought me back to my childhood every time I heard it. I think they are beautiful birds. The red is not easily distinguished unless they are flying or they are trying to intimidate and be aggressive as the one in the above photo.
Were it not for the suet feeder, I would never have been able to get so close to these shy birds.
An observation tower in the bird refuge.
And then there are the Sand Cranes. These birds are very tame and actually followed us down the trails until they realised we were saving our seeds for some other birds.
Bird feathers are fascinating. Click to see large.
Their mouths are always muddy from foraging in the swampy ground.
And where there is bird seed, there are squirrels.
What an experience to be so close to a 'wild' bird.
One of my better photos of the day. These Spotted Towhees are not only shy, but they move very quickly and never sit still.
I walked behind this Heron for ten yards before he got nervous and flew off.
And my favourite, the colourful Wood Duck. God's handiwork is almost over the top and humorous with these birds. The detail is incredible and although these again are very shy birds, a little bird seed brought them to within a few feet of us.
Come Spring, I plan to go back and take photos of the thousands of ducklings that will be hatched by then. I can hardly wait!