It’s a female — not black but more black-brown with a speckled front. She was gone for several months, and came back 2 days ago to sit quietly in the ground, sometimes under the evergreen tree. By design or accident, I don’t know, but she sits right where she can see into the kitchen — and I have found bird footprints in the snow coming right up to the glass door. When I open the door to throw out some seed or fruit for her, she flies away.
Is this what blackbirds normally do? It’s winter, so brooding is out of the question. Is she returning to where her mate died? (If it was her mate — I found him, after returning from vacation, drowned in a bucket of rain water.) Then again, Wikipedia says this about blackbirds: As long as winter food is available, both the male and female will remain in the territory throughout the year, although occupying different areas.
OK, so maybe she’s just found her own space for a while.