Monday, January 28, 2013

Doo, Doo, Doo, Looking Out My Backdoor VIII: Common Grackle

Grackles are not regular visitors to our feeder. In fact, other than this one time when several hung around following a snow storm, I can't recall another occasion when they have been present. They usually travel in mixed flocks of blackbirds in the fall and winter months which often include Starlings and Red-winged Blackbirds. The colors - green head, bronzed back and purple wings and tail are only seen under good light. I would guess this is a male since the females are duller.

These three pictures may all be of different birds since, when they would come around, I would do little things to try to startle them and get them to move on. A bird this big (larger than a black bird) can go through seed pretty quickly. The strong, pointed bill is found in all grackles, but the pale eye is indicative of the Common Grackle. 

I suspected this bird was going to fly, focused, and framed the space it would enter immediately after it took off.  It highlights how even when you think you have pretty good reaction time, you probably aren't going to react fast enough.  I think I may have mentioned before taking pictures of hummingbirds where, in the time it took to press the shutter - even at a shutter speed of 1/500 sec., I have come up with nothing in the frame.  I have found this  to be a general rule: the smaller the bird, the harder it is to film them in flight.

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