11 May 2009

Boat-tailed grackle from Florida

BoatailedGrackle1

I photographed this bird in Florida last month at a beach that had picnic tables. The bird was obviously used to having food thrown at it by the picnickers and probably also cleaning up after them. It was rather tame and while I was getting my equipment out of the trunk of my car, it kept watching me from the top of a nearby rock and even landing near me in expectation of some morsels. But I only took its pictures.

BoatailedGrackle2

My meager birding talents did not let me identify it. So, I e-mailed the pictures to John, who writes A DC Birding Blog, and he identified it as a female boat-tailed grackle (Quiscalus major). Note that the males are black and look quite different than the females.

Also note how the bird was perched on that rock with one leg lifted up.

BoatailedGrackle3

2 comments:

xoggoth said...

It is odd how some species of bird, like pheasants, blackbirds or other members of the thrush family, are remarkably fearless while others like sparrows or doves never overcome their fear no matter how often they see people around.

It does not appear to be a directly learned response either, young blackbirds and thrushes start ignoring you and hopping around a few feet away as soon as they fledge. Do the adults communicate what is safe and what isn't in some way that is not obvious?

AYDIN ÖRSTAN said...

But the city pigeons, which are related to doves, could become quite tame. And then there are messenger pigeons, of course. It may have something to do with their intelligence. Maybe the larger birds are more intelligent than the smaller ones.