Spring 2005
Vol. 13 No. 1
"Vision without action is only a dream. Action without vision only passes time. Vision with action can change the world." - Joel Baker

In this issue...

Reflections from the President

Annual Meeting Features Community Participation

Conservation Donations in Peril

Nature Area

Looking for Deer Resistant Plants?

More Than Just a Snappy Name

Red-Winged Blackbird

Did you know?

Upcoming Events...

March 18
Work Day
BASF Lot (To cut down phragmites)

March 24
Environmental Achievement Award Presented
Detroit Athletic Club

April 2
Nature Area Reopens

April 7
Emerald Ash Borer Conference
7:00 PM
Township Hall
Merle Solomon Room

March 24
Earth Day Celebration
10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Nature Area

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Did You Know ... ?

Items borrowed from Birds of Michigan Field Guide by Stan Tekiela

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

Size: 8-1/2" (22cm)

Male: Jet black bird with red and yellow shoulder patches on upper wings. Pointed black bill.

Female: heavily streaked brown bird with a pointed brown bill and white eyebrows.

Juvenile: same as female.

Nest: cup; female builds; 2-3 broods per year.

Eggs: 3-4; bluish green with brown marking.

Incubation: 10-12 days; female incubates; female and male feed young.

Migration: complete, to southern states, Mexico and Central America.

Stan's Notes:
One of the most widespread and numerous birds in the states. It is a sure sign of spring when the Red-winged Blackbirds return to the marshes. Flocks of up to 100,000 birds have been reported. Males return before the females and defend territories by singing from tops of surrounding vegetation.

Males repeat call from the tops of cattails while showing off their red and yellow wing bars (epaulets). Females choose mate and usually will nest over shallow water in thick stands of cattails.

Red-wingeds feed mostly on seeds in fall and spring, switching to insects during summer.