Walking round the garden, I hear him loud and clear. “Check…check…” he warns at first, before exploding in song:
It’s Rex the Red-Winged Blackbird, perched high atop a steel shepherd’s hook, so I can’t possibly miss him!
Rex repeats his twin ”check” as if saying “Hold it, buster!” Then he shrugs his bright red epaulets in bold display, fans his tail out and opens his beak wide as a rock star:
Want to sing to like Rex? Easy! Start low with “conk-la,” then move up by a Perfect 6th* and trill that final note loud and clear for a full second. (*If you can sing the first two notes of My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean, you just mastered the Perfect 6th.)
Now make up your own lyrics! Sometimes I imagine Rex singing “Sum-mer’s-HEEEER!”
Rex also sings to notify his mate about a good feeding spot, or simply tell her “You’re-my-DEEEEEER!” as he flies alongside her.
Reta, the female, isn’t so easy to spot. As you can see in the photo below, she has the same body and beak, but she’s a bit smaller. Her hues are neither black nor red, but a pretty brown and cream pattern. When she and Rex fly together, she responds with her very own verse:
And now you know the entire duet. You can hear several different recordings of Red-Winged Blackbirds on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Web page, or using their Merlin app for iPhone and Android. Which partner looks prettiest to YOU —Rex or Rita? Let me know with your COMMENT and don’t forget to leave a LIKE! And thanks, dear Follower, you’re the best!
Tap this link the shop the ArthurPix® Store for paper prints, framed canvas or metal wall-hangings, coffee mugs and loads of other cool keepsakes bearing the featured photograph of Rex the Red-Winged Blackbird