Birding with Friends
Two friends and I went early morning birding to Wilkins Field, which is in Fredericton North. It is a lush area of floodplain with grasses, alders, ephemeral ponds, permanent ponds, and marsh. With all these diverse habitats, there are usually many birds present.
The Red-winged Blackbirds are ever-present. They can be heard and seen from any vantage point. This male was actively proclaiming his territory and telling us to beware. Note the bright red epaulettes bordered with yellow. When he flies he flashes these. To us they look beautiful but to birds they probably look intimidating.
We found this beautiful feather lying on the ground, dropped by some flying bird. The iridescence was striking. We guessed that it came from a Common Grackle. The iridescence is typical and it is probably a tail feather. Note that the shaft is located in the middle of the feather. A wing feather would have the shaft offset with more 'feather' on one side than the other.