"'John Layton'" <>, "'chat line'" <>
A SNAG blackbird?
"Geoffrey Dabb" <>
Tue, 7 Mar 2006 07:59:30 +1100
BWP V p961 ‘mainly by female,
occasionally assisted by male’.
From: John Layton
Sent: Monday, March 06, 2006 7:12
To: chat line
Subject: [canberrabirds] A SNAG
The current issue of Canberra Bird
Notes 30(4) p.160 includes an Od Ob I wrote about a pair of Common
Blackbirds that nested in our scarecrow's coat pocket. I described how we
watched as the male, Pinto (so called because he was a part albino),
disappeared into the pocket carrying cotton threads he'd purloined from Scary
Joe Crow's frayed trowsers.
Subsequently, I came across the following: "While the male [Common
Blackbird] defends the breeding territory, the female selects the nesting site
and then constructs the nest. She also performs all the incubation but is
assisted by her mate in feeding the young." (Boles, 1988).
In deference to Walt Boles' assertion, we have no doubt it was the male
we saw carrying the cotton. I checked a few more Common Blackbird references
but none described nest-building in any detail.
To strike an anthropomorphic note, if Pinto wasn't nest building,
why was he toting cotton? Was he auditioning for the lead role in a biopic
about Paul Robeson? Or was he into needlepoint? Then again, he may have been
responding to pressure to assist with home duties like a good SNAG
blackbird of the 21st Century.
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