The Grackles looks very fat, but really, he’s fluffy. When the weather is very cold, which it was the day I took the original photograph, it was near zero (F) with a blizzard in progress. It was also blowing winds near hurricane strength, so to keep warm, that Grackle puffed up his feathers. I think I have underestimated how warm feathers can be. Apparently they can be very warm, although probably it helps if you are a bird.

Fluffy Grackle in a blizzard

This is the fullest tail I’ve seen on any Grackle. I think it may have been the angle of the photograph. He looked almost like a Boat-tailed Grackle, but they don’t live this far north. Those very long-tailed birds are the western U.S. & Canada version of the common Grackle.

I need to remind myself that every bird of the same species doesn’t look the same as every other bird of the same species. They are as varied within their species are people are. It’s one of the things that make bird identification so tricky. You have a book and a picture, but the bird doesn’t really look like the picture. Or more likely, sort of looks like the picture, but not exactly. The tail is too long, the body too round. The color is a little different than the picture or there are too few or to many bars on the wings. There are blotches where the bird should be solid. And on and on.

If you allow for individual differences and sometimes changes that have to do with the food they are eating — which can sometimes produce color shifts — it can get even more complicated. Your best guide aren’t the bird’s markings or exact color, but more it’s size and shape. When a bird doesn’t match the description, Google it and see if others have seen birds that look like what you are seeing. You might be surprised at what you find.

Next, I wanted to draw a tulip and so, I did. I was pleased with this one.

I do really well on flowers and vegetables. I am still hoping I can do a better job on other animals, including eventually (ta da) people!

Categories: #Birds, #Flowers, #Photography, #Sketchbook, Arts, Grackle

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12 replies

  1. You are really very good at this!


    • I keep practicing. I’m clearly better at some things than other things. I can’t draw ANYTHING with straight lights. I never get the angles right. I’m okay with vegetables, fruit, and flowers and not surprisingly, birds. Can’t draw my own dog or a squirrel at all. I can’t seem to get the body shapes right. They look more like cartoons than drawings. BUT I’m working on it. it’s also relaxing. I love writing, but writing is not relaxing. Photography is relaxing when taking pictures, but not when I have to try and turn them into something I can post. THAT is more like work. It’s not that I labor over each word or every photo, but it’s time consuming, even when all I’m doing is reducing the size of pictures for posting.

      Drawing, though, is just fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This one of the grackle is excellent.


  3. Wonderful, true artist


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