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Image of the month – April

A Common Grackle sits in some pussy willows. The grackle is looking up and a few falling snowflakes are visible in the scene. There is also sunlight coming from somewhere, because the grackle's iridescent bold blue head and purple and bronze body are clearly visible.

Since this first post is taking place in April, here is a photograph full of signs of early spring in southern Maine: a Common Grackle and some pussy willows in a light snow. The willows were full of grackles calling and displaying to each other and this male has his head pointed up because he is about to call.

As with many birds, the winter ranges of Common Grackles are shifting along with climate change. Though they are generally short-distance migrants, a few individuals can now be found in Maine year-round, though the bulk of their population moves at least a little further south for the winter. Common Grackles are some of the earliest birds to return in spring in large numbers to Maine.