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Boat-tailed Grackle - Quiscalus major

Boat-tailed Grackle - Quiscalus major
Photo Information
Copyright: Jim Thompson (kernow) Silver Note Writer [C: 9 W: 0 N: 69] (370)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-05-06
Categories: Birds
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ30
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/125 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-07-02 4:32
Viewed: 3015
Points: 4
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I had my polarizer in place as I was trying to shoot some fish under the water when all of a sudden this gregarious Boat-tailed Grackle flew past the end of my nose. I quickly aimed towards the beautiful bird hoping for the best, I had already dialed in -1.33 EV and with the polarizer in place assumed the shot wouldn't show his beautiful plumage. Needless to say I was quite pleased with the result. I was able to get about 5 shots, but this is the only one clearly showing his head, the rest were behind the reeds.
It was shot hand held at 669mm.

The Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major) is a large blackbird. It is a permanent resident breeding bird on the coasts of the southeastern USA.

It is found in coastal saltwater marshes, and, in Florida, also on inland waters. The nest is a well-concealed cup in trees or shrubs near water; three to five eggs are laid.

The male Boat-tailed Grackle is 42 cm long. Adult males have entirely iridescent black plumage, a long dark bill, a pale yellowish or brown iris and a long keel-shaped tail. The 37-cm long adult female is shorter tailed, and tawny-brown in colour apart from the darker wings and tail.

Young males are black but lack the adult's iridescence. Immature females are duller versions of the adult female, and have blotches or spots on the breast.

Despite its restricted range, there are four subspecies of the Boat-tailed Grackle, differing in size and iris colour. The Boat-tailed Grackle was once considered the same species as the Great-tailed Grackle.

These birds forage on the ground, in shallow water, or in shrubs; they will steal food from other birds. They are omnivorous, eating insects, minnows, frogs, eggs, berries, seeds, and grain, even small birds.

Boat-tailed Grackles have established significant populations in several United States Gulf Coast cities and towns where they can be found foraging in trash bins, dumpsters, and parking lots.

This bird's song is a harsh jeeb , and it has a variety of typically grackle-like chatters and sqeaks.


Make - Panasonic
Model - DMC-FZ30
Orientation - Top left
XResolution - 72
YResolution - 72
ResolutionUnit - Inch
DateTime - 2007:05:06 14:47:19
YCbCrPositioning - Co-Sited
ExifOffset - 398
ExposureTime - 1/125 seconds
FNumber - 5.60
ExposureProgram - Aperture priority
ISOSpeedRatings - 80
ExifVersion - 0220
DateTimeOriginal - 2007:05:06 14:47:19
DateTimeDigitized - 2007:05:06 14:47:19
ComponentsConfiguration - YCbCr
CompressedBitsPerPixel - 4 (bits/pixel)
ExposureBiasValue - -1.33
MaxApertureValue - F 2.83
MeteringMode - Spot
LightSource - Auto
Flash - Not fired, compulsory flash mode
FocalLength - 88.80 mm
FlashPixVersion - 0100
ColorSpace - sRGB
ExifImageWidth - 2048
ExifImageHeight - 1536
InteroperabilityOffset - 6652
SensingMethod - One-chip color area sensor
FileSource - DSC - Digital still camera
SceneType - A directly photographed image
CustomRendered - Custom process
ExposureMode - Auto bracket
WhiteBalance - Auto
DigitalZoomRatio - 0.00 x
FocalLengthIn35mmFilm - 669 mm
SceneCaptureType - Standard
GainControl - None
Contrast - Hard
Saturation - Normal
Sharpness - Normal

JPlumb has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To vanderschelden: Thank you Annickkernow 1 07-03 04:31
To JPlumb: Thanks Johnkernow 1 07-03 04:29
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Jim,
Extraordinary image.
The bird is very sharp.
Good light in the image.
I like the perching and the pose...
Well done

Hi Jim, very natural looking shot of the Grackle. I've never seen them down with lily pads before so this is a new one on me. The shot itself is very sharp with excellent colour and detail. The pose of the bird itself was very good, I especially like that cocked head and raised foot. Excellent notes. Very nicely done.

Thanks, John

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