January 27, 2014

Great tailed grackle

Great tailed grackle by ricmcarthur
Great tailed grackle, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
These birds are absolute monsters compared to the common grackle we get in our area.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology describes them as "A big, brash blackbird, the male Great-tailed Grackle shimmers in iridescent black and purple, and trails a tail that will make you look twice."
We saw these birds at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge.
Laguna is also the place where we first was road runners.

Quiscalus mexicanus

Although you’ll usually see them feeding on land, Great-tailed Grackles may also wade into the water to grab a frog or fish.

In winter, enormous flocks of both male and female Great-tailed Grackles gather in “roost trees.” These winter roosts can contain thousands of individuals, with flocks of up to half a million occurring in sugarcane fields in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley.

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