I had an hour or so free time while in Richmond Indiana for my daughter's graduation from Earlham Collection, Spring 2012, and headed out to the Weir dam area which is quite close to the college. I caught this grackle doing something, and rattled off a few shots. Later did I not only figure out he had a snake, but that there was a larger snake deciding to hide in the rocks in the foreground. I really only saw that because I could see the foreground snake move as I scanned through the pictures. Gil thinks these are Northern water snakes, Nerodia sipedon. Gil adds: The bird is Common grackle, Quiscalus quiscula, subspecies versicolor, sometimes called "Bronzed grackle". It belongs to the family Icteridae, which includes blackbirds, orioles, and meadowlarks. This species is categorized as an omnivore, eating a large variety of plant and animal matter, and is known to eat small snakes sometimes. I was shooting with the Nikon D7000 & Nikon 18-200 ED lens, which is good but not great at long focal lengths. Also, unfortunately, for these shots I had accidentally set the camera on "dummy" mode and was only shooting jpegs... This picture isn't up to my usual standards though I though it interesting enough to post.
Copyright © 2012, by Dick Locke. All Rights Reserved.
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