Backyard Birds: Grackle, Turkey Vulture

This past Friday I had the pleasure of photographing not just one but two new backyard birds! The above is a grackle, with a shiny iridescent body – how many colors do you see on that grackle? Many thanks to EG Camera Girl for confirming my identification. I learned more about the common grackle on the Cornell ornithology site.

hawk flying over Highland Park, New Jersey backyard
Overhead I saw this turkey vulture flying. At first I thought it was a hawk. But Michelle and Lorri thought otherwise – Lorri notes: “bald red head and plumage like that of adult male wild turkey.” She got that from the Wikipedia turkey vulture article. I have seen turkey vultures before in Highland Park, NJ, but never before in my backyard and never when I’ve been holding my camera. I watched him swoop and turn in the sky, like an acrobat.

turkey vulture beak red
Note the red turkey vulture beak.

cardinal in tree
I also spotted a male red cardinal. Cardinals are frequent visitors to my backyard. Today my husband spotted one in the compost. Happy when other family members also notice the birds.

tufted titmouse
A tufted titmouse visited our bird feeder. I last posted a tufted titmouse photo in February 2014.

tufted titmouse rear end in bird feeder
The tufted titmouse took a dive into the bird feeder. Here he shows us his rear end.

grackle open mouth
More photos of the grackle: what is he saying? Is he talking to some other bird?

grackle on roof
Love the shiny colorful look of the grackle. Have you seen a grackle?

For more Nature Notes:
Nature Notes

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