Brewer's Blackbirds near Sauble Falls, Bruce Peninsula

Female Brewer's Blackbird carrying  food near Sauble Falls, Bruce Peninsula on 3 June 2011. For about one hour I watched Brewer's Blackbirds collecting food and presumably feeding young in a rough pasture beside the road. I tracked this female because it had brown primaries contrasting with dark glossy tertials and body plumage.

 

Brewer's Blackbirds walked about in the grass gathering a variety of insects, then perched on wires and fence posts. Near Sauble Falls, Bruce Peninsula on 3 June 2011.

 

Male Brewer's Blackbird on 3 June 2011. Both male and female parents gathered insects to feed to the young.

 

During an hour both male and female parents brought three different fecal sacs to the road and discarded them. Near Sauble Falls on 3 June 211

 

Rough pasture where the Brewer's Blackbirds were nesting. Other Brewer's were feeding in the field and may have had a nest too. 3 June 2011.

 

Several Brewer's Blackbirds like this female were panting. It was a bright sunny day yet temperatures were only around 20 C because of a light wind. Why were the Brewer's panting at these temperatures when the Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles in the same area were not? In June 1998, I noticed Brewer's Blackbirds panting in 27 C temperatures at Coldwater, Simcoe County. Brewer's Blackbirds have not expanded in Ontario, in fact their range shrank in the Second Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario 2000-2005. A clue to this range limiting factor is in an article I wrote in the October 1998 OFO News Volume 16 (3): Brewer's Blackbirds: On Hold?