|Carib Grackle @ WSR|
I have been spending lots of time at the Woodbourne Shorebird Refuge (WSR) over the last couple of weeks and it was with astonishment that I watched a Carib Grackle’s (Quiscalus lugubris) Colony grow from just one nest, late last year, to more than a dozen at the end of January.
|Three of the more than one dozen Grackle's nest|
Grackles are colonial breeders. So I was surprised when the first solitary nest was built and even more surprised by where it was being built. I am accustomed to seeing these colonies high, either in large trees or manmade structures, but this nest was being built on drying stubs low over the waters of the east pond.
|The construction of the Grackles Nest|
The nests, are open at the top, cup shape, and are made of twigs, dead leaves and dry grass.
|One of the flock of Shiny Cow Birds at the colony|
Not all of these nests will produce Grackle chicks; no doubt some already contained Shiny Cowbird eggs. Shiny Cowbirds are Brood parasites of Grackles, so where there is a colony, you will be sure to see Shiny Cowbirds hanging around.
|Carib Grackle over the water|