Boat-tailed Grackle  
Male Boat-tailed Grackle with metalic blue feathers
Grackles are pretty smart birds. When I share peanuts with the Blue Jays that visit my yard sometimes the grackles watch where the jays bury a nut and then steal it.

Male Boat-tailed grackles are black, but at times their feathers take on a metallic blue sheen. Female grackles are various shades of brown.

They are fairly small birds, similar in size to Blue Jays, so it is particularly difficult to take photos of them flying.

The female above is about to land in the pickerelweed. When she does, the plants will sway, and then she'll likely disappear quickly into them. Grackles are easiest to photograph when they land on something stationary like these wetland rails.

Male Boat-tailed Grackle Flying
This female grackle is hovering over the duckweed covered water looking for food:
Female Boat-tailed Grackle
Female Boat-tailed Grackle Flying
I'm not quite sure what's going on with this white headed grackle. I've seen a few now with some white feathers, but I've no idea why they have them.

I believe the bird below on the left is the chick of the bird on the right. She brought it food.

Papa grackle was wading nearby:
Male Boat-tailed Grackle
Female Boat-tailed Grackle looking through the duckweed for food
White Boat-tailed Grackle
Speaking of Papa, let's look at grackle parenting. I've watched this grackle nest several times now, and I've only seen the mother bird fly in to feed her chicks.
I was surprised, because I've watched Red-winged Blackbirds raise their young and both parents feed the babies. That says something about assumptions, generalizations and stereotypes.
After the mother feeds her chicks, she cleans up after them.
She picks up their poop with her beak and seems to swallow it, then flies off and drops it away from the nest so predators don't catch the scent and try to eat the chicks.
Speaking of predators, this alligator is mighty close to the grackle nest. The nests are difficult to see in person, and it's worse in the picture, so I put arrows at the top left pointing to them. Notice how the one on the right looks slightly crooked? The rest of the story isn't for everyone. If you're not squeamish, here's the predator.
Boat-tailed Grackle Mother and Chick
Male and Female Boat-tailed Grackles
Boat-tailed Grackle Mother Feeding Two Young Chicks In Her Nest
Female Boat-tailed Grackle Feeding A Young Chick In The Nest
Female Boat-tailed Grackle Removing Chick Feces From Her Nest
Alligator Beside Two Boat-tailed Grackle Nests
Mother Boat-tailed Grackle dropping chick feces away from her nest so predators don't smell food
Splish, Splash, Evelyn caught this Grackle taking a bath.
Male Boat-tailed Grackle Taking A Bath
Splashing Bathing Male Boat-tailed Grackle
Female Boat-tailed Grackle
Splashing Bathing Male Boat-tailed Grackle
Site Map:
Diving, Wading & Wetland Birds
Warblers & Little Birds
More Birds
Snakes, Lizards, and Slithery Critters
Squishy Bugs
Crunchy Bugs
More Creatures
Butterfly Nectar Plants
Butterfly & Moth Host Plants
Wetland plants
Lawn Weeds
Other Plants & Fungi
Shrub, Bush & Tree Sized Plants
Paper Folding: Origami Bird, Egg, and Nest
Paper Quilling: Snowflake Ornaments
Cut Paper Snowflakes
Butterfly Garden Basics
My Email, Image Use Information, Credits & Disclaimer
Index of everything that didn't fit on one of the other main pages
Privacy Policy