A One-Legged Red-Winged Blackbird
A One-legged Red-winged Blackbird
On April 5, while collecting in the vicinity of Littleton, Arapahoe County, Colorado, I took a Red-winged Blackbird from a good sized flock in a tall cottonwood tree. Upon picking the bird up I found that the right leg was entirely missing. The bird was carefully skinned and it was found that the leg had been severed from the body at the knee joint. There was no scar or abrasion of any kind in the skin to indicate where the skin of the leg was attached to that of the body, the wound having healed perfectly.
The question was raised as to whether the bird had been hatched with the one leg missing; but this seems hardly reasonable from the fact that the first joint or that above the knee was perfectly formed. That this bird handled itself almost as easily as his more fortunate companions is without question, as the flock was watched some time before the bird was taken and his actions were not such as to attract attention. In fact this particular bird was collected especially on account of the fine condition of its plumage. Upon skinning, the bird was found to be a male, in perfect condition and with a well nurtured body.
R. B. ROCKWELL