Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A WHAT??????? !!!!!!!!

To my left were the baby geese. Up the hill were baby robins. To my right were baby sparrows. Straight ahead was the roaring young grackle. FEED ME!!! Totally being ignored. It knows how to pick a bit, but really wants parental attention. Big noisy baby.

Suddenly adult grackle appears with, with.... WHAT???? Oh my God, a crab. An honest to God crab! I'm used to Central Park grackles arriving with bread bits, pretzels, berries, nuts, soaking same in spring to soften food and then gulping same down, but these are river grackles. Crab meat. Not knowing if this was an oddity and wanting to document what was going on I shot non-stop.

This was a heavily populated space. Maybe the goose mamas would enjoy crab. Maybe the starlings would arrive and steal crab. Maybe a seagull would show up. Grackle picked a semi-secluded spot and protected the meal. No sharing permitted.

Crunched it to bits.

The juvenile was still roaming on the rocks, looking for food, nipping at garbage, the equivalent of a toddler not knowing the dangers of eating paint chips.
The adult ate the whole crab- meat, shell, pincers. There wasn't a speck of crab left.

A second adult grackle showed up with some kind of food. Mouthful of food = nest nearby. Food for the kids. Oh joy, I'll follow the grackle to the nest.
Not quite. Nest is in the girders under the highway.

I have more crab-eating grackle shots from the next day, so this is routine grackle behavior by the river. Amazing.

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