Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘grackles

Other looks at the grackles

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As you heard last time, grackles (Quiscalus mexicanus) had returned en masse to the intersection of US 183 and Braker Lane in my part of Austin near dusk on January 28th. Here are a few more pictures of them.

The golden (actually yellow) arches of McDonald’s were not exempt.

One bird I saw early-on was so much more reddish-brown than the others that I felt compelled to photograph it. The almost-full moon came in handy.

The heavy traffic on US 183 doesn’t faze the grackles.

Not only doesn’t the traffic bother them, but they even settle into (non-native) trees that touch the expressway overpass. That’s where they spend the night.

By the time I took the last two pictures shown here, it had gotten so dark I had no choice but to use flash.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 31, 2018 at 4:55 AM

A welcome return

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A bit before 5:30 on January 28th, on the way back home from a concert, as we passed through the intersection of US 183 and Braker Lane I noticed that grackles (Quiscalus mexicanus) were gathering in good numbers on the power lines there.

Five minutes later we were home. I got my camera equipment and headed back out for a welcome chance to play with the birds, photographically speaking. As dusk gradually came on, I found myself in the best congregation of grackles I’d witnessed in a long time—in fact, with one brief exception in 2016, it had been years since I saw any large group there. Why they showed up again two days ago, I have no idea, just as I never knew why they’d almost completely stopped coming to this intersection after 2012.

One difference from before was that this time some of the birds landed in groups on the road, and drivers were honking to try to get the grackles to fly out of the way and let the cars pass. At one point a guy who’d been begging for money at the intersection walked past me and said he was leaving because everybody was paying attention to the birds and not to him. No nature lover he.

The second photograph shows a phenomenon I saw repeated many times: lots of grackles would settle on one section of the power lines, then something would trigger them to suddenly take off en masse.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 30, 2018 at 4:47 AM

Posted in nature photography

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McGrackle’s

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Grackles on McDonald's Golden Arch 1390

Even the familiar golden arches were begrackled at the southwest quadrant of US 183 and Braker Lane near dusk on January 23rd. (That sentence came to S.S. semi-sleeping around 2 A.M. on the 24th.) Also begrackled was the structure at the base of the so-called golden but actually yellow arches.

Grackle on Sign 1344

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 3, 2016 at 5:00 AM

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