Male Boat-tailed Grackle portrait

/, Celery Fields, Florida, Sarasota County/Male Boat-tailed Grackle portrait

Boat-tailed Grackle maleMale Boat-tailed Grackle – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 260mm, natural light

Boat-tailed Grackles are very common in Florida and many people consider them a nuisance because they will frequent areas where people leave food and trash around and these birds will scavenge in those locations for food. I think of how opportunistic Boat-tailed Grackles can be because they have adapted to human presence and will clean up the edible pollution we leave behind while we “recreate”.

Male Boat-tailed Grackles have velvety black feathers that glow in the right light with iridescence purples, blues, teals and greens. This male Boat-tailed Grackle posed on top of a sign near the parking lot for the Celery Fields of Sarasota, Florida in January of 2009. The area used to be a commercial celery farming operation but is now a great area for Sandhill Cranes in the winter and can be very birdy at times.




  1. Mia McPherson April 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Thank you all for your very kind comments on this Boat-tailed Grackle image!

  2. Robert Draper April 4, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    You never fail to astound us with such charming bird and animal portraits. Great photo!

  3. Tammy Karr April 4, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Beautiful portrait, Mia! The Boat-tailed Grackle has such colorful iridescence!

  4. M. Firpi April 4, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    I’m going to see my sister in FL for a couple a weeks; so I will be seeing these again! Nice portrait!

  5. Prairie Birder April 4, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    The iridescence is so beautiful, you captured it perfectly, Mia!

  6. Merrill Ann Gonzales April 4, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Look at that fellow… doesn’t he look like he could tell you where the wind was born????

  7. Merrill Ann Gonzales April 4, 2013 at 11:03 am

    The hardest things in the world to photo or paint are black birds and animals. They are also some of the most rewarding when we “get it” right. This is gorgeous… Many thanks. I rather like their clown-like prancing when they come through here once in awhile. They have distinct personalities and are a lot of fun to watch.

  8. Tami April 4, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Love the shape of the beak. Hadn’t seen one close enough to see the detail before. Nice, Mia!

  9. Elizabeth April 4, 2013 at 10:04 am

    I’ve photographed grackles so many times, but I’ve never gotten close enough to appreciate the texture of their feathers. Beautiful!

    A couple years ago I saw a grackle at the Kaysville pond doing his mating ritual. I really appreciated his dedication.

  10. Jane Chesebrough April 4, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Much like the grackles that I am familiar with here.

  11. biobabbler April 4, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Man, you gotta love that iridescent sheen on TOP of shiny black. FABULOUS! =) Nice work.

  12. Sherry in MT April 4, 2013 at 7:33 am

    So sounds like they act alot like our magpies and other than a little different shaped head reminds me of the crows and ravens.

  13. Azstu April 4, 2013 at 5:28 am

    Great feather color detail Mia!

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