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Yellow-headed Blackbird

What We Saw on the Big Lake Beginner Bird Walk

Wed June 13, 2018 6:30 to 8:00 pm

Led by Vicki Trombley, with additional help from Steve Knight of the Edmonton Nature Club

On a beautiful June evening 38 people joined Vicki Trombley, Jan Chapman, and Dave Cleary from the store, and Steve Knight (of the Edmonton Nature Club) who volunteered his time to help identify the birds we were seeing and talk about their behaviour.

Following are a few short stories, plus a list of the birds we saw with links to more information on each:

When we arrived on the boardwalk at the south end of the wetlands, we saw a Black-crowned Night Heron descend into the reeds to do some fishing, and maybe some raiding of Red-winged Blackbird nests. The heron was accompanied by Red-winged Blackbirds harassing the heron in hopes of keeping it away from the nests.

At the other end of the boardwalk, just before we stepped onto the shore, a few people noticed a Red-winged Blackbird female and male arriving alternately with insects in their beaks to feed five chicks with gaping mouths in a nest that was no more than 5 feet away from the boardwalk. Some people with cameras got some photos of this event, including pictures of the nest.

In the same location down in the reeds and in plain view of the boardwalk we saw a muskrat busily pulling sticks, reeds, and mud together to build a nest. It was completely unconcerned that we were no more than 10 feet away.

Here is the list of 27 birds we saw, or heard: