A couple of members of the Caloosa Bird Club passed on to me this  
observation of feeding Boat-tailed Grackles at Ft. Myers Beach, where  
BTW,  the Long-billed Curlew remains as of Sunday, December 9th):

"We (Jane Murt & JoAnn Kelley) spotted Boat-tailed Grackles on Sunday  
Dec. 9 on Ft Myers Beach. They were opening and eating coquinas in  
the sand and near the water and acting like shore birds. There were  
15 to 20 of them. It was low tide and I had not seen grackles looking  
for food on the beach like this before. Is there an explanation for  
this behavior?"

Personally, I have not witnessed this type of feeding behavior in  
Boat-tailed Grackles myself. I'm wondering how common it is? Have any  
of you seen this behavior? Here's what Stevenson & Anderson have to  
say about it in __The Birdlife Of Florida__ on page 675:

"Most foraging is done on the ground, as the grackle walks, often  
holding its long, keeled tail high. Frequently it wades into shallow  
water or forages on floating vegetation. The species eats Apple  
Snails, Ampularia sp. fresh-water mussels, insects, spiders, small  
fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds (G.T. Bancroft in litt.), bird  
eggs, carrion, and human garbage. Weed seeds and waste grain comprise  
most of its vegetative diet; it rarely visits bird feeders. During  
winter 1940-41, Sprunt (1941d) observed these grackles at Lake  
Okeechobee harassing Glossy Ibis until they forfeited their crayfish  

Thanks in advance.



Vincent Lucas
Naples, FL
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