Waiting game.

“It’s all about chicks. It’s all about turf. No, it’s all about both.

When I say chicks, I don’t mean nestlings. I mean chicks. Hey, testosterone’s running high. It’s also about kicking butt if other guys come near.

I’m the Red-winged Blackbird you see every morning in the reeds along your highway cloverleaf…”


This imaginary monologue rings true.

The bird is there every day.

And one like him has been at that spot each year since you’ve been taking this route to work.

He represents a rite of spring. You know winter’s coming to an end.

Male red-wings return early, and alone. They scout a location, defend it. Then wait. Sensible females don’t want to freeze their pretty tails off, so they arrive later.

Meanwhile, the males…wait.

Those that have claimed a good place will get the best females. If you’re interested in this kind of thing, check out the odd word: “lek.”

Girls choose males that offer the best package: Best location. Best looks.

This recalls your youth. Leaning on the wall in high school as girls pass. Or hanging out in a bar, hoping to catch some female’s eye.

It’s human nature. Red-wing nature.

You understand this. And every morning on the way to work you see that same sucker on the reed. You feel sorry for him.

No girl’s gonna want to live that close to the road.

2 Responses to “Waiting game.”

  1. norm schaefer says:

    When I was kid we vacationed in Rhinelander Wisc. Behind our cottage, about 100 yards was boggy swamp are that teamed with Red-Winged blackbirds. I think I wriote a paper on them in grammer school. Red-Winged blackbirds and the Artic Tern. I always this kind of blackbird were pretty cool, too. They looked like the super heros of the blackbird family wtth those neat red caps .

  2. Bill Webb says:

    That was one great tag line, Mike.

    Bought the book. Loving it.