Boat-tailed Grackle, Quiscalus major


Boat-tailed Grackle
Boat-tailed is the only very large blackbird in Florida, where all these pictures were taken; along the Texas and Louisiana gulf coast its range overlaps with that of the similar Great-tailed Grackle, and distinguishing the species can be difficult. In Florida, these raucous and aggressive birds seem to be everywhere, and until they wear you down, they can be a treat to watch, especially in spring when they are throwing their whole bodies into vigorous singing from a prominent perch, as above.


Boat-tailed Grackle
Female Boat-tails can be a rich cinnamon color like the bird above, which would distinguish it from the colder brown of the female Great-tail, if it were in the area where the species overlap.


Boat-tailed Grackle
This is the "bill-up," a combative or territorial display given throughout the year by birds of both sexes; including elevation of a food item like the fish shown above in this display is said to be "rare" in the species account in Birds of North America Online.


Boat-tailed Grackle


Boat-tailed Grackle


Boat-tailed Grackle