Female Great-tailed Grackle portrait – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 800, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
I’ve never once played “Angry Birds”, a video game that can be played on multiple devices and platforms, but I’d nominate this female Great-tailed Grackle to be a featured bird in that game just because to my eye she looks angry. She isn’t angry of course, she simply looks that way to some humans.
This female Great-tailed Grackle was the first bird I photographed yesterday and she was so close to me that I opted to take portraits of her in the nice afternoon light at my local pond. I don’t see Great-tailed Grackles all that often here in northern Utah so when I do I like to at least try to get photos of them instead of passing them by because I am focused on and passionate about all wild birds.
I would have liked to have gotten full body images of this female perched on something more natural than a sign but that wasn’t to be, maybe she will stick around and I’ll have another chance with her in my viewfinder again soon. I’d like that.
Life is good.
Great tailed Grackle facts and information:
- Great-tailed Grackles are large, noisy blackbirds with long tails and long, sturdy bills. Males have yellow eyes, glossy black plumage with blue to purple iridescence. Females are about half the size of males and are a rich brown.
- The range of Great-tailed Grackles is very rapidly expanding, historically they were found as far north as southern Texas, I have seen them now as far north as southern Montana.
- Great-tailed Grackles eat grains, fruits, and in summer they will eat insects, bees, wasps, snails, worms, slugs, moths, small mammals, frogs, lizards, fish, bird eggs and nestlings. They will also eat food dropped in urban areas.
- Their habitat includes fields, marshes, agricultural and urban areas, farmyards, feedlots, forests, chaparral, parks and neighborhood lawns in the southwest, Texas, the Great Plains and now the Great Basin up towards Montana then south into Mexico and Central America.
- Great-tailed Grackles lay 3 to 4 eggs which take 13 to 14 days to hatch. The female incubates.
- Great-tailed Grackles can live up to 13 years.