Male Great-tailed Grackle at UWTP this morning.
- Steve Stump called the Heineckens this morning to report the GT Grackle. He has seen it 3 times. This time, Geoff & Cheryl Heinecken and myself all got down there in time to see it. We may not have found it except Steve came out and turned off the sprinklers and walked down the dike on the north side of the south pond and pointed it out to us as he flushed it for us. (Great work Steve). It was by itself although Killdeer and RW Blackbirds were foraging nearby.
It is very easy to recognize once you see it. It is about the size of a Crow, but the body and the tail are about equal size. The tail is extremely long and wedge shaped, graduated for over half its length. The male is black with iridescent purple blue shades, a disproportionately small head with a massive bill and yellow eye.
The 1st two times that Steve saw it, he saw a pair with the female, so it is possible that we have a breeding pair down there. There are breeding pairs next door in both Sonoma and Lake, so keep your eyes peeled for both sexes.
Steve again called to report it was still there at 11:30 just east of the sprinklers.
Good eyes Steve!
Dave Bengston, Ukiah
The Ukiah Water Treatment Plant is at the end of Plant Rd. Turn east off State St. just north of the Boonville Rd (Hwy 253).