Jul 18, 2006

Princes of the Feeders

(Toledo, OH) I have a few small bird feeders in my backyard, and I put out a steady supply of generic bird seed for my feathered friends.

Among the regular visitors to Chateaux Brooks are a flock of common grackles, and they all but own the territory. The smaller sparrows, nuthatches, and wrens have to wait until the grackles move on before they can feed. The piercing yellow eyes of the grackle must seem menacing to other patrons at the bird feeders.

In sunlight the males have a brilliant navy blue sheen to their neck feathers; I played with the contrast and saturation on this photo to bring up the blue, as the cloudy skies today were not conducive to catching this grackle in the shimmering glory that one sees on sunny days.

Some bird afficianados have disdain for the lowly grackle because of its aggressiveness, but I find the birds to be fascinating. They also have quite a repertoire of songs and sounds, ranging from harsh shrieks to more tuneful whistles. Here is a .wav file of grackle sounds.


Anonymous said...

Yuck. The only bird more annoying is the crow. Grackles eat my cat's food.

historymike said...

Those yellow eyes set against the jet-black feathers are what really get me.