Friday, February 4, 2011

Snap, Grackle, Pop

Okay, so this is a Common Grackle:

And this is a Great-tailed Grackle:

So...what's the bird on the right?
Look at how different their bill shapes are.
There was another Great-tailed Grackle with this weird bill shape on the lawn (that male had a larger tail).

Bonus bird.  Take a good look, before they go extinct in California, or at least, in LA County:


E. Z. said...

Can't help you with the Grackles but the loss of Spotted Doves is sad. As a child in Duarte where my family and so many others had poultry farms and there was still much open space, the Spotted Dove was ubiquitous. Great numbers of Turkey Vultures and various hawks used to circle in tall columns on the thermals near the foothills. It was a different time.

E. Zunino

Thomas Geza Miko said...

Hi E.Z.!
I remember hanging out in Huntington Park as a kid, and hearing their mysterious cooing sounds. That was in the early 1970s, and is one of my childhood bird memories.

The other 3 bird memories are:

1) The hummingbirds at our fuchsias at the house in Torrance. I would stand in the plate glass kitchen window, and stare at them for hours, while they hovered inches away from my face.

2)There was a birder who lived in our Huntington Park apartment building (1974?). He tried to get me to understand the goldfinches in the ficus outside the 2nd story window, but because they were green and yellow, I kept screaming, "Parrots!" He had a camera with a telephoto lens. I wonder who he was...

3) They took us on a field trip from Point Fermin Elementary School in San Pedro, up to these mysterious mountains that were far, far away in some place called the Angeles National Forest. A ranger in a Smoky Bear hat held out a peanut, and a Scrub Jay landed on his hand, and too the peanut. He explained that in the western U.S. we don't have Blue Jays, we have Scrub Jays. That was one of the few bird facts that I always knew, 20 years before I ever became a birder.
Tom Miko