Common Grackle – Quiscalus quiscula
Earlier this Spring, we were over-run with Grackles. They went through suet like it was going out of style, consuming 2 – 3 cakes a day. Because of our cloudy and wet Spring, I was never able to get a good photo of the Grackle, highlighting its iridescent purple and bronze plumage. These days, there are only a few around and I’m sure they are nesting in the area.
Bird Photography: Common Grackle
Today was my lucky day! While replacing a framed screen that fell out of our bedroom window, I noticed a Grackle foraging not more than 30 feet away. I’ve started carrying my camera around while working outside, so it was handy. I fired off several shots and then it flew away, apparently disliking the sound of the camera shutter.
The following photo was taken with a Canon 7D and a Canon 400mm f/4 L IS lens. Simply click the thumbnail below for a full-sized view. ©2011 John Briggs Photography
Common Grackle: Interesting Fact
The Common Grackle allows ants to crawl all over its body, a practice which is called anting. The ants secrete formic acid, which is thought to kill parasites. Besides the formic acid from ants, the Common Grackle has been observed using other substances, such as walnut juice, mothballs, lemons, limes, and choke cherries to remove parasites and other undesirable insects.