birds of two colors

While walking down a tree-lined path, two of my colleagues who have just arrived from the UK asked me about some birds that were making a tremendous racket in the trees. The conversation went something like this:

Them: Mike, what kind of birds are those
Mike: Which ones?
Them: Those black ones with red spots on their wings
Mike: Aahh… red-winged black birds.

They didn’t believe me. I can’t imagine why. It is a very bland sort-of name for such a cheerful bird (like calling your black dog “Blackie”, but here they are.

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