Grackles & Apples …

//Grackles & Apples …

Grackles & Apples …

… and grackles foraging across Nevada, exploiting urban food scraps. One of my favorite things about visiting southern climates is the summer night chatter of grackles … the cavatina that becomes the dissonant ensemble of grackle song when huge groups of the birds roost on urban plazas.

These were winter-time grackles — Great-tailed Grackles roaming the parking lots of Las Vegas in search of handouts and leftovers. I particularly love the way grackles use their large feet to hold and manipulate objects … while nearby pigeons wait for the fallout of crumbs.

When I drove out to the amazing Henderson Bird Preserve near Vegas (more in a future post), the docent apologized for the reduced bird activity during my midday visit. I told him if I saw even a grackle I’d be happy. He gave me a “suit yourself” look and then assured me that if grackles were my measure of a good visit, I’d probably be in heaven. I saw only one grackle there … this one:

Great-tailed Grackle at Henderson

Grackle at Henderson - ©ingridtaylar

The rest of these shots represent pavement foraging by enterprising birds.

Great-tailed Grackle with apple core

Grackles & Apples - ©ingridtaylar

Female Great-tailed Grackles with apple core

Female Grackles & Apples - ©ingridtaylar

Great-tailed Grackle in Nevada

Male Grackle With Nictitating Membrane Over Eye - ©ingridtaylar

Female Great-tailed Grackle

Curious Female - ©ingridtaylar

Female Great-tailed Grackle

Female Strutting - ©ingridtaylar

By | 2012-01-17T05:05:10+00:00 January 17th, 2012|Birds, Blog, Other Birds, Southwest, Urban Wildlife & Nature|4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Mia McPherson January 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Ingrid,

    I know quite a few photographers who don’t like Grackles, I’m not one of them. I enjoy observing and photographing them, especially since the males are a challenge to expose correctly to show their beautiful iridescence. Well done!

  2. ingrid January 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Mia, do they dislike Grackles for their behavior, or because they simply don’t like photographing them? I must admit, I’m an equal opportunity photographer. In fact, I’m enamored with the more “common” species because I think their spectacular qualities are too often overlooked …. pigeons, case in point. 🙂

  3. Mia McPherson January 25, 2012 at 3:43 am

    Ingrid,

    As near as I can tell some of the photographers don’t like the aggressive behvaior of the Great-tailed Grackles and some just don’t like photographing plain birds. If it has feathers and flies I will photograph it. Every bird has wonderful qualites and I think even common birds have uncommon beauty.

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