Angry Grackle!

Last weekend as I peacefully sat watching and photographing the birds at Cutler Wetland, a Boat-tailed Grackle suddenly zoomed in and landed on a nearby “No Trespassing” sign.  He then proceeded to berate me with angry calls, as if he thought I couldn’t read what was written on the sign. I’m not trespassing, I thought, because I haven’t gone beyond that sign.  But the Grackle didn’t care.  He kept screeching and screaming until eventually I got up and found another spot to sit.  Of course the little tantrum gave me ample opportunity to snap some close-ups before I left.

Can you believe this guy?
Who does he thing he is?

Yeah.  That’s right.  I’m talking about you.  Move it along, Pal.

South Florida’s Boat-tailed Grackles

Boat-tailed Grackles aren’t a very exciting find for a birder in South Florida.  Their population here is huge and they are everywhere.  You will find them in fields, yards, parking lots and just about anywhere you go.  Regardless of whether you are looking for birds or not, in South Florida you come across them every day. They are omnivorous, which means that, not unlike myself, they will eat just about anything.  Their diet ranges from berries to snails to other birds to garbage.  (I personally stop short of garbage.)  The males are jet black and are often mistaken for crows, while the females have brown heads.  Many people, bird lovers included, find them a nuisance because of their ever present numbers, aggressive behavior and loud call, which reminds me a of a swing set in need of a good oiling.  On the positive side they are big, strong and beautiful birds.  Their immense and concentrated population and their boldness make them an easy bird to find, observe and photograph.  Here are some shots of Boat-tailed Grackles I have taken over the past year.

Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)

Boat-tailed Grackle male hovering over a small pond.

Boat-tailed Grackle female in flight.

Boat-tailed Grackle – Father and Son

Boat-tailed Grackle – Feeding Time

Tree decorated with Boat-tailed Grackles and one European Starling (Top Left)

Two Boat-tailed Grackle females captured with my cell phone in a grocery store parking lot.