Sunday, October 02, 2005

Where do Grackles sleep at night?

The photo below, taken by Cal Vornberger last July, portrays two subjects of particular interest to me : 1. Grackles, whose night roosts I 've been looking for and now, thanks to Ben Cacace, I've found - see letter below- and 2. Moths.

In the photo, a parent Common Grackle is feeding a moth to a hungry nestling. It's hard to tell, but the bit of moth visible suggests it might be an Underwing.

Ben Cacace wrote:

DATE: Friday, 30 September 2005
TIME: 5:22p-7:00p)
LOCATION: Central Park - The Pond &
Hallett Sanctuary (se. corner)

A Common Grackle roost was found near the south end of Central Park. While birding in the area around Gapstow Bridge, south of Wollman Skating Rink, I watched grackles & starlings flying towards the southeast corner of the park. The birds were heading out of the park towards a group of 10 trees surrounding a water fountain just east of the Plaza Hotel. I started watching the stream around 6:20p. The number of birds
reduced to a trickle shortly after sunset (6:45p). The last bird seen entering the roost was around 6:54p. The number was close to uncountable. They were flying in so densely that only an estimate could be given of the groups and multiple observers would be needed to
come close to separating the starlings from the grackles. The number of roosting birds is huge but the difficultly in counting them is huger. My estimate for the short time I spent on the plaza across from the Plaza is a few thousand. The ability for this many birds to settle in such a small number trees with plenty of room for many more is simply amazing.**

PS from Marie:

I'll be checking out Ben's Grackle roost tonight, and I'll post a report tomorrow on what I find.