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Boat-tailed Grackle on mudflat with prey

Posted by Julie L. Brown, Photobirder (Indianapolis, Indiana, United States) on 20 August 2015 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

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©2010-2015 Julie L. Brown, All rights reserved

Edwin B. Forsythe
National Wildlife Refuge | New Jersey

Although it is difficult to see the length and width of the tail on this bird, but due to the location of this habitat (coastal salt marsh in New Jersey), I am leaning toward the ID of Boat-tailed Grackle: " a strictly coastal species through most of its range; however, they live across much of the Florida peninsula, often well away from the immediate coast." However, a very similar species is found across the eastern US: The Common Grackle is abundant across the eastern US. Habitat includes "...agricultural fields, feedlots, city parks, and suburban lawns. They’re also common in open habitats including woodland, forest edges, meadows, and marshes."

I haven't been to that many, but I love to spend time at a national wildlife refuge. "The Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge protects more than 47,000 acres of southern New Jersey coastal habitats which is actively managed for migratory birds." There are more than 555 refuges in the system: "The National Wildlife Refuge System is a network of lands and waters managed specifically for the protection of wildlife and wildlife habitat and represents the most comprehensive wildlife resource management program in the world. Units of the system stretch across the United States from northern Alaska to the Florida Keys, and include small islands in the Caribbean and South Pacific. The character of the refuges is as diverse as the nation itself."

In 2013 (October 6-12), I traveled to southern New Jersey for "Cape May Magic" an American Birding Association workshop conducted by Mark Garland and Pat & Clay Sutton . It was a wonderful week of birding and learning about birds, although it was rainy and very windy. The storm, a nor'easter (a cyclonic storm that moves along the east coast of North America. It’s called “nor’easter” because the winds over coastal areas blow from a northeasterly direction) , lasted most of the week. As a result, the conditions were generally very challenging for bird photography. Despite the weather, I enjoyed it so much that I spent another five days there in mid-October 2014. Due to its location at the end of a peninsula bordered by Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Cape May , New Jersey is a migrant trap and one of the top birding destinations in North America.
CHECK OUT MY WORDPRESS BLOG For species profiles, location reports, random nature notes, as well as links to my favorite photographers, nature bloggers, and conservation websites. LATEST POST: Backyard Birdwatching: Immature

Canon EOS 7D 1/500 second F/6.3 ISO 640 600 mm

birds | grackle | prey | mudflat | forsythe | national | wildlife | refuge | new | jersey

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This photoblog is my nature journal and travelogue. Many of my wildlife images were made in environments impacted by humans. My goal is to feature each animal in a way that allows the viewer to sense the essence of its life in the wild. The purpose of the accompanying narratives is to enhance awareness and appreciation of our natural world, as well as to inspire everyone to protect and care for it.

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©2010-2015 Julie L. Brown
, All rights reserved

Focales from Entre montagnes et Bretagne, France

I like very much the subtlety of the colors of the plumage of this bird

20 Aug 2015 6:04am

Dimitrios from ATHENS, Greece

brilliant shot*

20 Aug 2015 8:15am

Devi from Chennai, Ghana

excellent closeup !! Is he pilfering someone else's nest I wonder !!!!Anyway I shall go into google and read all about him:)))))

20 Aug 2015 9:16am

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

SUperb close up - the eye is certainly impactful

20 Aug 2015 5:16pm

Kent from Herrljunga, Sweden

A beautiful bird image. Good captured

20 Aug 2015 6:32pm

Steven from Chicagoland, United States

Beautiful iridescent color that you've captured in this grackle's plumage!!

20 Aug 2015 9:05pm

LauraS from Chico, United States

Fascinating shot.

20 Aug 2015 10:09pm

L'Angevine from Angers, France

bien intéressant

21 Aug 2015 8:20am

Doug from Burnham-on-Sea, United Kingdom

Superb image of this bird and what a superb way to see it safely in one of these wildlife refuges, we need more both on land and sea to preserve our beautiful natural world and end the threat of extinction of some species

21 Aug 2015 1:58pm

@Doug: Thanks, Doug. I love our national wildlife refuges and am always interested in the habitats that they protect.

Aigleloup from Rebecq, Belgium

Oh yes, beautiful picture

21 Aug 2015 9:40pm

Anita B. from Redon, France

Magnificent cliché ! I like very much the tones

22 Aug 2015 4:40pm

michel creze from le havre, France

Excellents reflets du plumage , belle attitude et bel instant capté .

Excellent reflection of the plumage, great attitude and beautiful moment captured.

23 Aug 2015 11:30am

Babzy from Besançon, France

great capture :)

25 Aug 2015 7:14am

♡ Isa from Vaucluse, France

Superbe prise de vue... j aime beaucoup !

25 Aug 2015 9:08am

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

I know people do not like them, but it's cool how they shimmer in the sun.

25 Aug 2015 1:12pm

@B. Thomas: They can be really beautiful in the right light. I posted this image a couple of years ago:

omid from mashhad, Iran

very nice shot
with beautiful composition, timing, focus, colors & lights!
A M A Z I N G !

27 Aug 2015 9:37am