As I was walking along one of our restored wetlands this week, I stumbled upon a pile of black feathers, with a few tiny red ones mixed in. I’m guessing it was the remains of a red-winged blackbird, but was surprised at the white bases of the red feathers. I can’t think of any other bird that would have that combination of colors, though, especially along a wetland like that. These two tiny red-tipped feathers were stuck on a grass blade right next to the larger pile.
I wonder if the blackbird fell victim to the same Cooper’s hawk I’d seen in the same area a couple weeks before. That one dropped a half-plucked, still alive robin as I drove past on an ATV (I hope the hawk came back and finished the job…).