Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Strange Grackle

It appears that strange black birds are finding me every time I go out. Yesterday I told you about a strange black bird I found in a tree at the nature park. I determined that it was probably a brown-headed cowbird, even though the head was kind of dark. Those of you who know of such things agreed that it must be that very bird. So I stand by the consensus that it was indeed the identity of our bird.

Well today I was visited by another bird in almost the same exact area that the cowbird had been. This bird has a different identity though. And I can identify this one confidently as a common grackle! If you compare the two, you will notice that this bird has piercing yellow eyes. The other does not. And the grackle of today has shiny black feathers, especially the head, where the other's feathers were dull.

Notice in the pictures here that the eye seems to glow. You can see it even without expanding the photo. That is the main tip off that this is a grackle. I have to say that I never expected to see one so soon after I wrote that post. It was as if it knew that it had to come to me. This couldn't have worked out better if I had planned it, which I did not.

This is really a striking looking bird, with the way the eyes glow, and the feathers shine in the light. I think it could give someone a very good scare in the late evening, if it got close. It happened to be far up in a tree, in a very similar location as the cowbird. I wonder if they flock together sometimes.

I want to talk about this last picture specifically. This is not the original way this picture looked. Originally it was much darker. You couldn't see anything but a black shape on the branch. I used Diane's editing technique from Nature Center Magazine to fix it up! I made a few additions of my own, but she deserves the credit. Go check it out if you'd like to be able to fix your photos. Thanks Diane!

I like how the bird looks extra sinister in this photo, now that it's fixed. I think I like my new friend, the common grackle. He's a good scary looking bird that really doesn't bother me at all. I'll have to feature some better cowbird pictures very soon. But today it's the grackle. I like saying that. Grackle!

Nature Center Magazine - Today is the day Emma brings you the Nature Site Of The Week. This one is a good one. She found a place that talks about medicinal plants and herbs. That should be interesting to any nature lover.

12 comments:

  1. That last one looks a little scary. Be careful Ratty!

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  2. enjoyed the blue sky behind the tree!

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  3. That bird does look scary! Your pictures are great too.

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  4. Yay, he looks great and I love their yellow eyes! :-)

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  5. Be careful of the bird? Do you think it can be as nasty as a crow?

    I see crows everyday, but I hate to take their pictures.

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  6. Wow Ratty...you really do know your birds...makes me feel kind of guilty that I don't pay enough attention to whats going on at times. You are making me think more about the birds in my area and there habitats...I think I will research them further so i can provide adequate homing to more different species to attract them to my gardens.

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  7. I really like the way colors bounce around on a grackle's feathers; kind of iridescent. They certainly are beautiful birds.

    Bill:www.wildramblings.com

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  8. I agree that the bird does look a little scary, especially in that last shot.

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  9. I wonder if that is the type of bird my human often sees grazing through the grass in people's front yards. There are usually a bunch of them and they're that shiny black with the yellow eyes. She has never heard of any cat catching one, so they must be very smart!

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  10. This one could be in an Edgar Allan Poe poem!

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  11. Leafless branches and a sleek black birdie with yellow eyes.. what's missing is a haunted mansion and a bunch of ghosts. =D I'm sure I'd be scared too if a Grackle would stare down at me, even in broad daylight. hehe..

    PS: Great editing!

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  12. Eyes that glow, hmmm. I wonder what it means that blackbirds are following you wherever you go? Great shots too.

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