Bird #323 — Boat-tailed Grackle

quiscalus (quail) major (greater)

Thursday, July 19, 1990 — 1:00 pm

Tybee Island, Georgia — Arby’s Roast Beef Restaurant

Some bird sightings are romantic.  Some are not.  My wife, daughter, and I drove down to Savannah.  I made reservations at the Sands Motel, right on the beach of Tybee Island for one night.  We waited until we got to the island to eat lunch, figuring there would be a lot of choices, but Arby’s was the only game in town.  This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I just mention it for the sake of setting the scene. The restaurant was on a point between two streets in the downtown area about 100 yards from the ocean. In the small triangle in front of the building there were two or three picnic tables.

As we walked from the car, I saw a male Boat-tailed Grackle standing on the bench of the picnic table closest to the door.  As we walked by, it hopped up onto the table top.  As we looked at it, it hopped around a bit then took off and flew toward the ocean.

This was my easiest lifer in many years.  During the next two days, I saw about 15 more grackles, of both sexes.  All of them were very close to the ocean except for a male I saw at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge.

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