Thursday, May 5, 2011

Is this a brown cowbird or female grackle? - Skywatch Friday





I was standing on the boardwalk at Gatorland quietly waiting for the baby birds to wake up. I see some movement in the bushes in an area where there aren't any egret or heron nests. All of a sudden I see this tiny brown bird pop up. I started taking pictures of it and several other photographers came by and said it was a brown cowbird baby. It looked to be several weeks old. The nest seemed to be hidden down into the bush. The parent bird (last picture) kept flying over to check on the baby and would fly off again. The parent never stayed long and I didn't see it feeding the baby. Eventually the baby crawled back deep into the bushes. This one had just enough fuzz on the top of it's head to make it cute. As I was looking through my bird books I thought, this really looks more like a female grackle. The female grackle has a longer beak than the cowbird but they should have yellow eyes. But not all of the pictures I found on the web showed the female grackle with yellow eyes. I'm stumped. Any thoughts? 

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14 comments:

  1. she's really brown for the grackles i've seen, but i agree - her beak is too long for the type of cowbirds i'm familiar with. i vote grackle.

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  2. Great close ups!! And I don't know. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  3. Perfect! Your header is stunning.

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  4. Incredible! Not only are you there to take the pictures, but I can't believe your photography itself. I'm wondering, if you don't mind, what kind of camera do you have? Thanks so much for sharing these with us.

    Hope your weekend is wonderful,

    Kathy M.

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  5. Such gorgeous captures.

    My Skywatch, please come and see.

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  6. Wonderful photos, I do not think the beak matches the cowbirds beak. How about a female boattailed Grackle?

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  7. Dina I always love your bird photos. These are fantastic. I like how you can see the fuzz on the young head. Great shots!

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  8. I don't kknow what kind of bird it is, but it's cute, and your photos are terrific!

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  9. Not a clue as to what kind of bird it is, but I do know you took excellent photos of it. Nice work. Mickie :)

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  10. How amazing!
    Happy SWF. Enjoy your weekend.

    " Regina "

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  11. So beautiful photos of those birds :)

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  12. you probably read this by now, but the immature common grackle has brown eyes which turn yellow as they become adults.

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