WriteOut Blackbirds

WriteOut Daily Create

Today’s Daily Create Prompt — #DS106  @ds106dc   #tdc3930 #writeout Explore Birds — asks us to look at Audubon’s Bird Migration Explorer site to learn about a bird. I chose the Red-winged Blackbird.

I found the birds on the explorer and captured a screenshot of when the red-winged blackbirds are most likely to be in our area during their migration, which would be sometime in June.

I love these beautiful birds with their sleek black feathers except for the bright red and a big of yellow on the tops of their wings. You can see and hear them puff out in a show of strength at the Macaulay Library here.

I did not know that the females were striped, or that the birds are polygamous. And look at that cup-shaped next — it’s like a funnel. The National Park Service’s Mississippi National River and Recreation Area of Minnesota shares a wonderful page about the red-winged blackbirds.

At Audubon I learned that these birds eat in a way that’s called “gaping.” Instead of having beaks strong to crush the insects and seeds, these birds have a beak that’s strong to OPEN the ground to dig in to get the seeds and insects. Their eyes also can look straight ahead down their beak to see what they’ve found. Learn more at this Audubon page: Blackbirds…Gaping

The National Park Service has a delightful page for younger kids– Junior Ranger Blackbirds with several great links and an activity. You might find the NPS’s Kids in Parks page great for a family day at a national park.

So, as you can see in the top image, I gathered as much of this information into a poster with QR code links to the important pages to learn about these things. You can share it as much as you want! And of, course, I tweeted it for WriteOut.

A bit of facts and more
Red-winged blackbirds, galore
North America- everywhere
Fields, marshes, and wetlands there
Feeding on insects, seeds, and more.
Take a look to learn about
Blackbirds and the red they tout.



And I wrote a poem for today’s bird–


Delicate in black
red-wing bold
fluffed to another
flying by

Cling to the tule
waving with the wind
above the gentle waves
flowing to the shore.

[I am here]
“check” replies the others
and a “check” to another.

One scolds “chak chak chak”
One flies away
Another fluffs his red
as I pass by

Sheri Edwards
10.17.22 292.365.22


Enjoy these videos of Banks Lake of the tules and cattails where the red-winged blackbirds live in our area.

Autumn, early winter migration

Other Poems

Writing is what I do every day. A poem for over a thousand days in a row. Here are a few about blackbirds.


illustration of red-winged blackbird in hand

Your Turn

Take a look at Audubon’s Bird Migration Explorer site to learn about a bird.Take some notes and share them. Perhaps use your notes to write a poem. Perhaps the bird lives near you and you could share a photo. Perhaps you found one you’d like to see and could sketch or paint or color it. Just enjoy learning about a bird today.

This post is part of the October WRITEOUT adventure of the National Writing Project and the National Park Service — a STEAM-powered Write Out 2022. Organized as a public invitation to get out and create, supported by a series of free online activities, Write Out invites educators, students, and families to explore national parks and other public spaces. The goal is to connect and learn through place-based writing and sharing. Learn more and sign up: https://writeout.nwp.org