Red-winged Blackbirds Hanging with Chickens in Cover Patch

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,608
18,575
876
Holts Summit, Missouri
I have four raised gardens overgrown with the larger species of ragweed (~12' tall) we have here. It is largely defoliated although the chicken still in there most of day. Six male Red-winged Black Birds are getting down very close to the chickens for much of the day while the latter are loafing. I think the black birds are counting on additional protection provided from Coopers Hawks by the much larger chickens. The chickens are using the cover more as hawks migrating over a lot lately.
 

Al Gerhart

Crowing
10 Years
Sep 29, 2011
842
740
251
Oklahoma City
That ragweed probably makes a safe place from diving hawks. Kind of like the WWII barrage balloons. Might inspire someone to come up with a cover for open range birds, dead weed stalks hung up off the ground.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,608
18,575
876
Holts Summit, Missouri
I've had had the inspiration for a long time. Variations in stem density appear important. The ragweed patch appears preferred to what is available elsewhere on the property. Patches of wild plump, brambles, and sumac are also available but this ragweed has something magical about it. It may be possible to get the ornamental types of sunflower to provide a similar structure.
 

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