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Nine Years Treknature

Nine Years Treknature
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2015-10-15
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D90, Sigma 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/500 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2015-12-04 6:17
Viewed: 1748
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Today I am 9 years on Treknature. And I was searching for an appropriate photo, but couldnít find it.
Last year, when I was eight years on TN, I posted a Black-tailed Godwit, my favourite Dutch bird. A few weeks ago this bird was chosen to the national bird of my country, the Netherlands. An important decision for better protection of this species, because the numbers are still decreasing.

Now Iíve chosen for a nice photo from my recent trip to the USA, a female Great-tailed Grackle.

Thanks for all the appreciation last year.

The Great-tailed Grackle or Mexican Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) is a medium-sized, gregarious passerine bird native to North and South America. A member of the family Icteridae, it is one of ten extant species of grackle and is closely related to the Boat-tailed Grackle and the Slender-billed Grackle. It is sometimes erroneously referred to as a "blackbird" in the southern United States, although blackbirds belong to the genus Euphagus. Similarly, it is often called "cuervo" in areas of Mexico owing to its glossy black plumage, although it is not a member of the genus Corvus, nor even of the family Corvidae.

Great-tailed Grackles are medium-sized birds (larger than starlings and smaller than crows; 38 cm (15 in)-46 cm (18 in)) with males weighing 203 g-265 g and females between 115 g-142 g, and both sexes have long tails. Males are iridescent black with a purple-blue sheen on the feathers of the head and upper body, while females are brown with darker wings and tail. The morphological difference between males and females of a species is known as sexual dimorphism. Adults of both sexes have bright yellow eyes, while juveniles of both sexes have brown eyes and brown plumage like females (except for streaks on the breast). Great-tailed Grackles, particularly the adult males, have a keel-shaped tail that they can fold vertically by aligning the two halves.
The Great-tailed Grackle and Boat-tailed Grackle were considered the same species until genetic analyses distinguished them as two separate species.

Distribution and habitat
Originally from Central and South America, Great-tailed Grackles expanded their breeding range by over 5500% by moving north into North America between 1880 and 2000, following urban and agricultural corridors. Their current range stretches from northwest Venezuela and western Colombia and Ecuador in the south to Minnesota in the north, to Oregon, Idaho, and California in the west, to Louisiana in the east, with vagrants occurring as far north as southern Canada. Their "natural" habitat for foraging is on the ground in clear areas such as pastures, wetlands and mangroves.

Great-tailed Grackles are noted for their diverse foraging habits. They extract larvae and insects from grassy areas; eat lizards, nestlings, and eggs; forage in freshly ploughed land; remove parasites from cattle; and eat fruits (e.g., bananas, berries) and grains (e.g., maize, corn on the cob by opening the husks). They turn over objects to search for food underneath, including crustaceans, insects, and worms, they hunt tadpoles and fish by wading into shallow water, and although they do not swim, they catch fish by flying close to the water's surface, and are even reported to dive a few inches into the water to retrieve a fish. They are also known to pick dead insects off of the license plates of parked cars, and kill barn swallows while flying.

Great-tailed Grackles have an unusually large repertoire of vocalizations that are used year-round. Males use a wider variety of vocalization types, while females engage mostly in "chatter", however there is a report of a female performing the "territorial song". Because of their loud vocalizations, Great-tailed Grackles are considered a pest species by some.
They communally roost in trees or the reeds of wetlands at night and, during the breeding season, they nest in territories using three different mating strategies: 1) territorial males defend their territory on which many females place their nests and raise young, 2) residential males live in the larger colony but do not defend a territory or have mates, and 3) transient males stay for a few days before leaving the colony to likely move onto another colony. Resident and transient males sire a small number of offspring through extra pair copulations with females on territories. Territorial males are heavier and have longer tails than non-territorial males, and both of these characteristics are associated with having more offspring.

Source: Wikipedia

ramthakur, shaukatmi, Hussain58, iti, Hotelcalifornia, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2015-12-04 6:31]

Hi Peter,i hope that you will celebrate this imporant anniversary with a good bottle of wine and not with a warm like your bird..ehehe....it's a great arrival,9 years there,you be proud to be still there with the old friend,and i'm always happy to see your beautiful pics...like that! Thanks a lot for your work on TN and have a nice weekend,Luciano

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2015-12-04 7:00]

Hello Peter, and Congratulations for 9 years posting here on TN.
From your first African Green Pigeon to this lovely Great-tailed Grackle, you have presented us with countless images from around the world. The knowledge we have gained through your notes alone are priceless.
Another example of your fine work is this close-up shot of the Great-tailed Grackle. She has such a curious look on her face as she holds the worm, I have to wonder what her thoughts were. Excellent eye contact and a great look at her beautiful brownish and black color tones. I like the low POV you chose and the exposure is right on the mark. Hope to see you here another 9 plus years!!

Ciao Peter, congratulations for your 9 year on TN and thanks for all your beautiful photo, great capture of lovely bird and its prey, fine details, splendid light, excellent sharpness and wonderful colors, very well done, my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2015-12-04 8:55]

Hallo Peter,
Perfect shot ..
Bright colours, clear BG and exact sharpness.
Best wishes,

You are among a few of the early giants of nature imagery still posting on TN, Peter. I admire your tenacity!
Your landmark post of a Grackle from America on the completion of 9 years on TN is apt. It's a wonderful picture of the bird with a worm in its beak.
Wishing you all the best in your 10th year!

Hi, Peter.
Good work for this lovely bird with the prey. As always excellent sharpness and excellent depth of field of the subject in its natural surroundings makes it a beautiful composition. It seems like the bird has a curious look like someone was watching her. Thanks for the excellent note and sharing this photo.

Hello Peter,

Hope you are well.( I have come to this late so my apologies) Yes, nine years....n...i....n....e years mean something, you know Peter. It is a big slice of life and as I always say while commenting on your wondrous photos that your contribution to TN is matchless.You have been of great help and as you travel a lot you have portrayed wildlife, especially birds, from all around the world. You excel in photography and the invaluable comments you post and this means a lot.The old hand in the business here on TN, we love you. This grackle has a worm in its beak and you for your reward, have these wonderful comments, seems like you both have been rewarded, Peter! Smile! Take care,
Best regards,

Hallo Peter
Gefeliciteerd met deze mijlpaal nu naar de 10
Leuke moment opname met de worm in zijn bek
prachtige foto op de workshop foto goed te zien
bedankt weer peter
gr lou

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2015-12-05 9:54]

Hi Peter,
Congratulations on your anniversary and i hope that we will see still many beautiful photos.
Very good work. Have a good weekend and good light.
Regards Jiri.

Hi peter this is very good time for taking picture

Hello Peter,

Congratulation for your 9th year here in TN. Hope you'll continue your work (smile).
I like your presentation of this Mexican Grackle. Very well DOF as well as color and sharpness. Details are also very nice too. Just here needs little bit more space in foreground; we can see its toes are hidden in the grasses, IMHO.
Thanks for sharing with informative NOTE and WS photograph,

  • Great 
  • Cobo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 236 W: 1 N: 535] (5799)
  • [2015-12-08 3:37]

Grate picture Peter and congratulation for the 9 years in Treknature. This is an excellent picture of this bird to celebrate it. Thank you for all the good pictures that you are sharing with us. I appreciate it.

Hello Peter

Congratulations for your 9 years on TN, great timing from you to catch this Great-tailed Grackles
with its food, with very fine low POV obtaining its eye-contact, excellent details of the plumage, TFS


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