Thursday, February 8, 2007

Grackle spotted for first time in Wisconsin

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I found this headline to be hysterically funny. Our neighbors to the East must be unaware of the common Grackle, gracklus minnesotiensis, that breeds by the millions around here and, along with aedes aegypti (punctor), the common mosquito, serves no known purpose.

The great-tailed grackle, a bird native to Central America, has been spotted in Wisconsin for the first time.

Larry Michael, past president and founder of the Horicon Marsh Bird Club, said he saw the bird last month among a flock of crows perched on a tree at the edge of the marsh. He described it as a grackle on steroids — about one and one-half times the size of a common grackle. [Wow! This must be what Global Warming dangers are all about!]

Wildlife photographer Jack Bartholmai of Beaver Dam caught the bird on film, helping document its presence in the Badger State.

The dark gray bird with a flat head and long tail is found commonly in Mexico, Central America and the south central U.S. It has been moving north and was recently sighted in Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Pioneer Press

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