The Travels of Tug 44

Common Grackle

The Common Grackle is a small bird about the size of a Robin. They eat pretty much everything including bugs, caterpillars, grain, berries, and even the eggs and young of other birds. Their color is dull black and browns with bright iridescent blue on the head. They have a particularly long tail.   high-res

This one was posing for me on the shore of the Hudson River in Fort Edward.   high-res

It's breeding season and this Common Grackle is about to display. His eye in this picture is half closed, actually that's the nicitating membrane, an inner eyelid. He is also inhaling deeply, taking in as much air as he can ...   high-res

... then he closes his eyes the rest of the way, puffs out all his feathers and lets out a loud "jeeb" sound. This impresses the females, and is intended to intimidate the other males.   high-res

This Common Grackle is in the middle of a molt, where all his feathers will fall out and be replaced by new ones.   high-res

The Common Grackle, a blackbird in an iridescent suit.

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