Tag Archives: Grackle

Grackle and a Menacing Sky

A storm seemed imminent with darkening clouds and some distant thunder so I was headed back to my car from the swamp. A number of Grackles were entertaining me along the way, including this one perched on a slowly deteriorating tree. The tree reminds me of an artwork, perhaps a wrist and hand holding up the sky.

Grackle in Dead Tree
Grackle in Dead Tree

A few more steps along and a different look to the sky and those outstretched fingers.

Grackle in Dead Tree
Grackle in Dead Tree

I had driven barely a mile down the road when the sun came out bright. I’ve learned that summer thunder/rain storms around Charleston can be very localized and nothing to mess with.

Whose Log Is It?

When wading birds are around a perch of any sort rarely goes unoccupied. When I first arrived at this pond just after sunup a Great Blue Heron was surveying the scene from a piece of driftwood. In the low light it looked a bit like an alligator.

Great Blue Heron on Driftwood, American Avocet feeding

Twenty minutes later the GBH had moved on and his spot had been quickly occupied by a Snowy Egret, with two Grackles closing in. Possession of such a coveted spot is a fluid thing.

Grackles and Snowy Egret on Driftwood, American Avocet feeding

Grackle Feeding Chick

I was busy watching a Green Heron when I realized there was a commotion going on in a nearby tree top.

Grackle Feeding Chick
Grackle Feeding Chick

The juvenile Grackle was calling out his hunger in a big way.

Grackle Feeding Chick
Grackle Feeding Chick

After delivering a good size insect the chick continued to call for more.

Grackle Feeding Chick
Grackle Feeding Chick

The adult was not persuaded to go after another round of food and stayed put, listening to the chatter.

Grackle Feeding Chick
Grackle Feeding Chick

Grackle with a Double Snack

With his mouth full of bugs this Grackle paused a couple minutes at the edge of the pond before flying off to his nest.

Grackle with Bugs
Grackle with Bugs

I didn’t see him make the catch and have no idea how he got these two bugs in his beak at once. Maybe the effort was why he rested before heading to his nest.

Grackle with Bugs
Grackle with Bugs

He eventually flew out to this tree, aka “the skinny tree,” where his nest seemed to be in the broken Wood Duck box seen on the far side of the trunk.

Grackle Above Alligator
Grackle Above Alligator

An Alligator was patrolling the water around the tree. The Grackle dive-bombed the Alligator several times with no effect.

There was at least one turtle in the water and there is one Great Blue Heron and three Great Egret nests with chicks in the branches above, either of which would be more enticing to the gator.

Grackle with a Snack

I spotted this shimmery Grackle not far from those I saw earlier in the month poking in the water. This one had caught a dragonfly and was attempting to dunk it in the pond.

Grackle with Dragonfly
Grackle with Dragonfly

He jumped closer to the water and bent down a few times but didn’t seem satisfied.

Grackle with Dragonfly
Grackle with Dragonfly

As sometimes happens, I got distracted by other activity around the pond and didn’t see if he had success or just flew off.

Grackle with Dragonfly
Grackle with Dragonfly

Boat-tailed Grackle

At least I think it is a Boat-tailed Grackle, not a Common Grackle.  This is another pair of birds that All About Birds uses a size comparison to help tell them part. Useful if you see them together, not so much on their own. They did seem to have a big tail.

Boat-tailed Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle

These images were taken at the pond near the rookery and swamp I frequent. A group of 8 or 10 was working its way along the edge, hopping along limbs that have fallen in the water.

Boat-tailed Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle

Both kinds are noisy, with constant calling, like their Red-winged Black bird relative.  It was the iridescence that attracted me, and their repeated trips to the water. They will eat frogs, lizards, and turtles and did poke around a little in this water that has all  of these but it was a bit deep for them to jump in.

Boat-tailed Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle