WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – HOLEYLAND WMA, FL
This bird photograph is of a female Boat-tailed Grackle that was captured digitally at the HoleyLand Wildlife Management Area located on Okeechobee Road (US27) at the Broward County-Palm Beach County border. The gear used to take this shot was a Nikon D90 attached to a Tamron 28-300mm lens and a Tamron 2x teleconverter.
The Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major) is a passerine bird of the family Icteridae found as a permanent resident on the coasts of the southeastern USA. It is found in coastal saltwater marshes, and, in Florida, also on inland waters. The nest is a well-concealed cup in trees or shrubs near water; three to five eggs are laid.
The female Boat-tailed Grackle is one-half the size of of the male. Its back and head are cinnamon brown. The breast and belly are paler brown or buffy, the tail and wings dark brown. A pale brown line above its eye contrasts slightly with indistinct dark line through eye. Eye color of the female Boat-tailed Grackle is variable from cream to dark brown.
This bird forage on the ground, in shallow water, or in shrubs; they will steal food from other birds. They are omnivorous, eating insects, minnows, frogs, eggs, berries, seeds, and grain, even small birds.
Boat-tailed Grackles have established significant populations in several United States Gulf Coast cities and towns where they can be found foraging in trash bins, dumpsters, and parking lots.
This bird’s song is a harsh jeeb, and it has a variety of typically grackle-like chatters and squeaks.