2022—Iridescence on Display

The Boat-tailed Grackles were everywhere on Lake Kissimmee in Florida a couple of weeks ago. It’s springtime and this male was displaying, his iridescence shimmering in the sunlight. As we made our way among the bulrushes and reeds on the lake, our airboat brushed by quite a few intricately constructed grackle nests. Most seemed not to be occupied, remnants of a previous breeding season but there were plenty of them, constructed a couple of feet above the water and attached to reeds and cattails. I didn’t know it when I took this photograph but apparently Boat-tailed Grackles establish harems and only some males achieve status through their displays allowing them to mate with the females in their harem. I’m not sure if this male had a harem of if he was just a wannabe. He looks quite studly, though.