UPDATED: 10/22/2016 – Sorry for the correction, but I realized while writing another post on this bird that this is not a Long-Tailed Grackle, but a Great-Tailed Grackle – no idea where I got that other name other than the fact it has a …. wait for it … wait for it … a long tail. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
Thanks to the last set of soft bird pictures, I figured it was a perfect time to bring out another set of pictures definitely on the soft side – if I keep this up it will transform from a mistake to a STYLE! I actually need a little help in the confirmation of this particular evil looking bird.
I snapped this bird while walking on the Treasure Island Casino boardwalk in Vegas back n Nov 2012 (hey, I warned you the backlog was epic). A large dark shape caught my eye as it flew in behind us to scavenge in the cracks of the boards. Per my Golden Rules, brought the camera inline and took a few shots thinking at the time it was just a Brown-Headed Cowbird. It wasn’t until reviewing the shots in the digital darkroom that it occurred to me that the shape of this bird did not match my reference model for those birds.
For one, Cowbirds have a much shorter beak. The one on this specimen is more like a dagger. Add to this the fact Cowbirds typically have brown only on the head (thus the clever name eh?) with the rest predominantly black. This Vegas bird carried the brown through the body and only shades to black at the wings and legs. And then there’s the whole overall size issue with this one having a much larger stature than the Cowbirds seen in my neck of the woods.
Hit the jump to see a few more shots and learn what I think this bird is!