Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hanky Panky in the Pines

(Journal entry of 6-7-11 / not posted on blog until after returning home)

I'm pretty sure I've just been privy to the mating rituals of a pair of boat-tailed grackles, though I'm not certain of that ID.  Long lean bluish blackish birds seen often over the Savannah marsh.  Too delicate and iridescent for crows, too large for black birds.   Noisy birds.  Not as cacophonous as crows or jays, but noisy nonetheless.

Early this morning a pair lit on the way-out fishing dock where I was sitting.  Was it a game of he said, she said?  Did he hope to make a day of it?  Much ducking and bowing and stretching of necks.  Their attentions seemed totally tuned to each other until I got too close for their comfort and they took off.  Not light enough yet for clear photos.

 Just now, late on the afternoon of the same day,  high above me in a pine tree off the deck of the house where I'm retreating---omg---such a racket and a flapping and a fluttering and a yippety yippety cluck cluck cluck clucking they made.  They were behind a large clump of needles that my binocular view couldn't penetrate, but judging from the exceptional wing activity around the periphery of the needles, and from the length of time they were at it, I'm guessing he was penetrating just fine.  A long but successful day in grackle world. dkm


Anonymous said...

hahahaha :)

Reminds me of the time I saw two little birds at a wildlife park going hammer and tongs. I've never seen anything so funny. The look on the wee chap's face. He was so smug and all fluffed out afterwards. hehe And she looked just as pleased.

Speaking of fertilising...two of my chooks have hatched out chicks. What silly bird has chicks in winter?! sighhhh One lot we gave away in exchange for grain. The second lot I spent ages this morning in the rain rounding them up. They are now safe and toastie in a pen.

dkm said...

Ohh the life of a farmer! I would not want to be out there in the cold rain! More power to you! Hope you are toasty again, too.
Is it unusual for them to hatch chicks in winter, or have they had seasonal awareness domesticated out of them?

Anonymous said...

I think they are confused because the weather has been quite nice. Even the ducks have been carrying on like it's spring. This weekend is the first real wintery blast - freezing wind and rain. Though we have been getting some whopping frosts and a bit of snow on the hills. I'm amazed how the bunnies can eat long frozen grass! They obviously don't suffer from sensitive teeth. Cringe!

Patricia Lichen said...

Grappling grackles--whadda fun post! Reminds me of the "Birds do it, bees do it" song.