Backyard Birds: Grackle, Turkey Vulture

Grackle
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

11 thoughts on “Backyard Birds: Grackle, Turkey Vulture

  • Wonderful photos of the now official birder Leora. The grackle would probably love to get to you feeder, but I think it is too big. I also love that your family is noticing and your compost pile is a great place to catch insects and worms. Great post for Nature Notes..thank you…Michelle

    • Highland Park seems to be a great town in general for birdwatching. I should spend hours and hours watching birds in the parks…

      Thanks for visiting! And for helping with the bird identifications.

  • I am loving all of these photos. The grackle looks like he is warning some other birds to “back away, back away from the feeders”…lol…just my imagination.

    Thanks for the mention re the turkey vulture. That bald red head really stands out, as does the beak.

    That cardinal looks like a chunky guy, so cute! I love that you husband noticed him.

  • Hello Leora, wonderful variety of yardbirds. I have seen the grackles in my yard.. They can be real piggies at the feeders. But, I love their shiny colors.. Have a happy day!

  • Leora grackles are gone from here now and will return next late spring when it is warmer. And we see turkey vultures overhead in spring too. I recognize them by their red heads. You have some nice birds visiting.

  • Love the bird pictures. I have a bird feeder just outside our breakfast table window. The flyover is happening right now and are see some amazing birds, including a hawk or two. I should get my camera our there and take a few pictures… huh.

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