Oct 16, 2010

Camera Critter Saturday - Young Grackle

Grackles are often considered pest birds. They are very noisy when they start chattering and they never stop eating. At feeders, they tend to bully other birds and farmers really dislike them in their fields. However, they are also very entertaining to watch if you can get past their rude behavior.

Like many other species in the black bird family, they are extremely social. After mating and incubation is done, care of the new little ones is performed not only by mom and dad but other relatives as well. After fledging (flying from the nest the first time), the youngsters follow the adults around begging for food. It sometimes appears as if the adults are ignoring them thoroughly. Once they have had enough of the whining, they will promptly shove a morsel of food down the youngsters' throat. It is not uncommon to see several grackle families strolling around on a lawn or other open area.

The following photos are of a baby grackle who has fledged but is still fairly dependent on his elders. You will notice that he has not quite grown all his feathers. As I told the boys, "He is so ugly that he is cute!" This youngster was left all alone and crying out for his parents. When he finally got a response he flew down to join them on their hunt.

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1 comment:

eileeninmd said...

I have to agree he is so ugy he is cute.Wonderful photos.