Thursday, January 02, 2014

Great-tailed Grackle

Coming from the Midwest, these birds seemed exotic to me at first. They can have such impressive legs and tails that I even wondered if they might be Roadrunners! Not even close. They are called Great-tailed Grackles and are a blackbird common to the Southwest and the southern Great Plains regions of the US. Unlike the blackbirds I am more familiar with, the Great-tailed Grackles are very lanky, with long legs and tails, and the males have a very striking iridescence to their black feathers.  These are females that have been using our backyard to stake out the neighbors house lately (possibly watching the neighbors dogs.) They are smaller than the males and, obviously, not black.  They are not my favorite bird of the Southwest (that would be the Western Scrub-Jay) but they are bold and plentiful so they make the backyard much more interesting at a time of year when not a lot is going on back there.

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