Early this morning at the Jericho Center beaver pond, we watched a female Red-winged Blackbird as she made a noise I’ve never heard from this species: four to five loud half-second-long raspy notes in a row, then a rest, then some more. The sound was rather like a cold engine trying to start up. (If you’ve heard Cactus Wrens, this was much slower than their song, more like brief bursts of “engine” sound.) Has anyone heard this noise before? Any insight into why?
We also watched as a female mallard repeatedly made staccato quacks and then the male (resplendent in the sun!) spent a full minute courteously bowing in front of her.