The adorable creature featured in the pictures atop this entry is a young male Common Grackle whom I saw in Central Park this past Sunday. From his characteristics (eye color and beak shape), I had suspected the bird's ID was a young Common Grackle, but I've never seen one in this brownish coloring, so I began to doubt my judgement in determining the bird type.
I second guessed myself to the point where I wondered if this bird was a member of the avian community known as Rusty Blackbirds; although that would be highly doubtful at this time of year. Still, one never knows unless they reach out to an expert; which is what I did by contacting the amazing Amanda Remsberg.
Here's a copy of our exchange:
Me "After I saw this bird yesterday, I reached out to several people via Twitter to see if he/she is a young Common Grackle. But this morning my doubts creeped in + I began to wonder if the creature was a rustic BB. Now it seems my initial thought is correct! I did see a very young CG! Need to work at trusting my first impressions."
Amanda: "Yep! Very trusting too to be so close."
Me: "So true... re so close but he/she is young + is still trusting! PLUS my camera lens is long + I wan't that close! Is there anyway I can ID the gender?"
Amanda: "Well since he already has a glossy black chest I’d say male, usually the females have a chestnut brown chest."
I'm most grateful to know Amanda and that she is so generous with her knowedge re members of the avian community. Moreover, I was extremely grateful to spend time observing this young grackle.
Btw, cool facts and fantastic photos of the antics re Common grackles are included in volume three of my book series, Words In Our Beak.