Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sketch: Grackles

This afternoon I practiced my hand at gesture drawing while watching grackles at the feeder. They are both the most comical and obnoxious birds! Smart, too. They're one of only 25 documented avian species that use tools; i.e. sticks and rocks. Ours take turns dunking peanuts in the bird bath over and over, presumably to soften them up for digestion. Another interesting behavior is that when it's hot, they keep their beaks open, appearing to pant like dogs. (In ornithological speak, this is commonly referred to as "gullar fluttering.") Must be difficult to be a black feathered bird in the summer...

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