Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Common Grackle - Pt. 2

Learning to identify birds is a huge challenge. I never imagined that there were so many different birds and so many different seasonal changes. I decided to illustrate this point with pictures of a Common Grackle. (Some refer to this bird as the Purple Grackle.) This image was shot in Arkansas in early July and shows a head of more purple than blue. Its back has a purple and bronze color which separates this bird from the Brewer's Blackbird. They can look very similar but the Brewer's is supposed to have a darker and more shiny coat on its back parts.

The beak of the Common Grackle is also bigger, longer and sharper than the Brewer's Blackbird. If I ever find one, I will post the pictures side by side.

This picture of the Common Grackle was taken in May at Forest Pond in Goulds. The fresh Spring colors are vibrant and blue/green, not purple; yet, this is a Common Grackle. There is a strong similarity in the color of the wings and tail between both birds pictured here.

Now, to complicate things even more, this is a Common Grackle photographed on the Southern Shore of Newfoundland in April. Is it any wonder that I struggle with identification? The same bird never looks the same!

I am continuing to collect images of the same birds so that I can more closely study the changes that the birds undergo through the seasons. There is breeding plumage, winter plumage, summer plumage, fall plumage, and molting all complicated by the gender and the age of the bird. I wonder if I will ever get it all? or even part?

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