April 5, 2018, at 3:05 p.m.
By BRENNA VISSER, The Daily Astorian
CANNON BEACH, Ore. (AP) — As a part of the 12 Days of Earth Day celebration, Cannon Beach will be asked to consider designating an official city bird.
But don't get too excited, tufted puffins. A different bird could be brought into the spotlight: the red-winged blackbird.
The medium-sized, black-and-red songbird loves marshes, brushy swamps and chirping on city power lines. They relish pecking out the seeds of invasive plants and fiercely protecting habitat — whether the trespasser be a fellow bird or an elk. But most importantly, the species is an abundant and longtime inhabitant of the beach town.
"Red-winged blackbirds have been in that habitat forever. It seemed to fit the character of Cannon Beach," said Neal Maine, a wildlife photographer who serves on the 12 Days of Earth Day committee. "They are a part of the downtown, which is kind of rare to have a bird colony right in the central part of the community."