Creature Feature: Rusty Blackbird
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Creature Feature: Rusty Blackbird

“Something isn’t right here,” the woman said with a perplexed look on her face. Our group was birding Greenlawn Cemetery, and we’d just looked through an apparent group of Grackles. Most of us had already moved on, but she looked back at the Grackles, a few of which had dropped to the ground and were tussling with leaves and tree debris. “They don’t sound like Grackles,” she intoned. As it turned out, we had almost been fooled by the Midwest’s stealthiest winter resident, the Rusty Blackbird. Her initial comment was also prophetic about the species as well.

Creature Feature: Great Egret
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Creature Feature: Great Egret

It’s one of the most recognizable symbols in conservation: the flying Great Egret, symbol of the National Audubon Society, devised when the organization was lobbying to curtail the millinery trade. Most of you have probably also seen a live Great Egret as well, but have you stopped to think about how these essentially southern birds…