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