Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Crane's Roost and Grackles...

All that glitters is not a gold...

Let's continue our journey at Crane's Roost in Altamonte Springs, Florida. Today's bird is the Common Grackle. Well I don't find him to be common at all. I have long been fascinated by their iridescent feathers. A blackbird with flare! They are my second favorite blackbird, behind the brown headed cowbird. I have a few shots of those coming up in a few days. I could never quite get the Grackle to sit where I wanted them so I could take advantage of the glowing hot sun on that day to really show off their color. I hope you enjoy the Grackle from Crane’s Roost.
Don't forget to click image to enlarge if you want a closer look.

Did you know:

A familiar sight on suburban lawns, the Common Grackle can be recognized by its iridescent purple and bronze plumage and long, keel-shaped tail. It's expanding its range into the far West, but is most common in the East.

Sound: (I loved the discription given of their sound)

Song a harsh, unmusical "readle-eak," like a rusty gate. Call a sharp, harsh "chack."
listen to songs of this species

The Common Grackle is an opportunistic forager, taking advantage of whatever food sources it can find. It will follow plows for invertebrates and mice, wade into water to catch small fish, and sometimes kill and eat other birds at bird feeders.
The Common Grackle commonly engages in anting, allowing ants to crawl on its body and secrete formic acid, possibly to rid the body of parasites. In addition to ants, it has been seen using walnut juice, lemons and limes, marigold blossoms, choke cherries, and mothballs in a similar fashion.
The Common Grackle has benefited from human activities. The clearing of the Eastern forests was to its liking. The expansion of agriculture, along with the use of mechanical crop harvesters, improved overwinter survival by increasing the supply of waste grain. In the West, the Common Grackle has moved into new areas by following the planting of ornamental trees.

Did you know, brought to you by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Thank you for visiting today and please do leave a comment!

Craig


7 comments:

Michele Wassell said...

Great post... I really enjoyed the lovely photos and readings.. I am still trying to figure out how to keep up with the postings of other blogs, but I think I just accomplished that last night, so I should be back on a regular basis or as you post. :) YEAH! Happy Holidays!

Leedra said...

I don't understand why people don't like the common birds. At the Florida Birding FotoFest last year we saw a Northern Cardinal and I heard some of them say "Oh, that is just a Cardinal", or well, they are beautiful birds. I enjoy photographing all birds anytime I see them. I have plenty of the Great Blue Heron and Snowy Egret, but that next photo may be the best yet.

Oh, and just incase you didn't get my answer...I grew up in Stone Mountain, Georgia. My children thought Stone Mtn was Papa's Mountain, because he worked in the park.

Shellmo said...

I enjoyed the info and photos of the interesting grackle. They are such problem solvers - I watched one take a nut from my peanut feeder and then dip it in the bird bath before swallowing it so it would be easier to go down. Smart!

dAwN said...

Thanks for the post..I didnt realize that did those things to keep bugs off...

A very Happy New Year to you and your!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hello Craig. We have these here too but call them Starlings. I muct see if I can find a nice picture of one and add it to my sidebar.

Thaks for becoming a follower to my blog. It is appreciated.

A New England Life said...

I have to say, every time I go to Florida I look forward to the sound of the Grackle. There's so many around and they make such interesting noises, but they are also obviously aggressive birds who like to get their way.

Sharon

HANNIBAL said...

Ah, the Grackle...Not a fan of the grackle...but the irridescense can keep me looking. They are such pigs at the feeder! You captured the shiny on them, nice photos!