An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Common Grackle Threat Display

5-3-13 common grackle DA8A1629Although the common grackle, a member of the blackbird family, is the bane of many corn growers as well as a threat to songbirds trying to raise young (grackles eat other birds’ eggs and nestlings), it is quite a colorful bird, with its pale yellow eyes and iridescent purple plumage. Grackles have already begun nesting and defending their territory, as can be seen from the stance of the bird in this image. This “bill-up display” is a position assumed when a male is being approached on its territory by another male. It moves its head upwards so that its bill is almost vertical, signaling to the approaching grackle that it would be in its best interest to depart.

2 responses

  1. Are you implying that this grackle perceived you as another male grackle? Have you been sharpening your talents and gifts as a shape shifter? If so, we need to hang out more. At the moment, I am a tree blooming with fresh skin-like leaves, in the warmth of evening May sunshine. Please visit with me- 😉

    May 3, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    • I know my hair is short, but I don’t think I look like a male grackle…do I? Much rather be a tree in the springtime!

      May 4, 2013 at 9:20 pm

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