Sunday, June 5, 2011

Red Winged Black Birds and Mother Leaches

While many pairs of Red Winged Blackbirds have young ready to leave the nest, this pair was just beginning to build their nest this past wednesday in Springbrook's south prairie. 

The male perched in the top of the nearest tree and scolded any one who came close, while the female selected the best pieces of  nest material for her interior decorating. 
 The male and female look very different.  The males want to attract attention to themselves so all will know the boundaries of his territory.  Thus, his bright colors.

The female has to sit on the nest and not be seen by predators, so she has colors that blend with the surroundings.

I will try to get pictures of the nest as the eggs and then babies hatch and grow.
This large female leach was caught by one of the students doing pond study at Springbrook this past week.  Female leaches have babies at this time of year, and they carry the babies with them for several weeks until they are big enough to be on their own.

The babies stay on the mother leach's underside. So I poured some pond water into a casserole dish and took these pictures from underneath looking up through the glass bottom.

Don't tell the cook. 
These leaches are large, about 3 or 4 inches long.

No comments:

Post a Comment