Female Red-winged Blackbird Eating Wild Sunflower Seeds In Autumn

/, Birds, Davis County, Red-winged Blackbirds, Utah/Female Red-winged Blackbird Eating Wild Sunflower Seeds In Autumn

Female Red-winged Blackbird on a wild sunflower stalkFemale Red-winged Blackbird on a wild sunflower stalk – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Many species of birds on Antelope Island State Park are pigging out on wild sunflower seeds at this time of the year including Red-winged Blackbirds. Some years the wild sunflowers are very abundant on the island and this was one of those years and although they are gorgeous while they are blooming and attract lots of bees, butterflies and other insects it is during the fall when they attract birds because of their seeds.

A few days ago this female Red-winged Blackbird landed on a sunflower stalk close to me with a distant rabbitbrush in the background and proceeded to pluck sunflower seeds and eat them in nice morning light.

Peeking female Red-winged BlackbirdPeeking female Red-winged Blackbird – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Typically I wouldn’t save an image like this one where the head of my subject is partially hidden but I thought the female blackbird looked kind of cute peering at me from behind the wild sunflower stems and seed heads. The wilted yellow flower petals add a nice bright touch of color to the images.

Female Red-winged Blackbird eating wild sunflower seedsFemale Red-winged Blackbird eating wild sunflower seeds – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The Red-winged Blackbird female hung around long enough for me to take a couple of dozen photos of her as she grabbed seeds with her bill and chowed down on them.

It wasn’t long after this photo was taken that something spooked the blackbirds, finches and sparrows in the area and they all flew off in a hurry but I’m glad I had a few moments with this Red-winged Blackbird before she left.

Life is good.



  1. Elephants Child November 11, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Yet another lovely thing. Thank you.

  2. April Olson November 11, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Beautiful photos. I am catching up on this weeks post today. I did send a e-mail off to the DNR about the proposal for Antelope Island and ATV use. Keep us informed if you hear of any meetings. I would hate to see the hills of the island look like spots in the west desert by the Pony Express trail.

  3. Walt Anderson November 11, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Lovely shots, as always. Happy Veteran’s Day. I don’t know if you use Facebook, but if you do, here is my photo contribution toward peace and happiness: https://www.facebook.com/walt.anderson.79.

    • Patty Chadwick November 11, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      My daughter, Cindy Chadwick, graduated from Prescott College…now lives in Northern California with a two-legged and two Arabian horses.

  4. M. Bruce November 11, 2017 at 10:23 am


  5. Patty Chadwick November 11, 2017 at 8:33 am

    The BEAUTIFUL!!! Especially like the first nd third shots….love her stripes!!!……

  6. Mary McAvoy November 11, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Mia, these are gorgeous shots of one of my favorite birds. I think of her look as being “fragile as a teacup” where in truth she’s one tough bird. The male is a force to be reckoned with and life w him can’t be easy. The tradeoff is that she has a powerful protector and provider for herself and their offspring. And I’ve seen him train the young in their flying skills.
    I love her color and markings.
    Please keep sharing what you consider to be your not perfect photos! They are perfect to me as they beautifully show the skills and routines of daily life in the wild.

  7. Liz Cormack November 11, 2017 at 7:35 am

    There is something about female Red-winged Blackbirds that draw me to them. They are not flashy with their male counterparts so maybe that is it. Beautiful photos.

Comments are closed.