As a wildlife photographer, I’m always on the lookout for interesting birds to photograph. On September 11, 2021, I had the chance to take some shots of a young Common Grackle.

Young Common Grackle

Young Common Grackle

Common Grackles are a familiar sight across much of North America, recognizable by their glossy black feathers and piercing yellow eyes. But this particular grackle caught my attention while I was walking through the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma.

Perched on a low tree branch, the young grackle eyed me curiously as I approached. He didn’t take flight like the other grackles when I drew near. His head cocked from side to side, studying me intently, as if trying to figure out what I was doing there with my camera.

I slowly crept closer, camera ready. The grackle continued to watch me, turning his head this way and that to get a better look. When I got within several feet, he hopped to a higher branch, still fixing me with a questioning gaze.

As I focused my lens, the morning sun glinted off his iridescent feathers, showing hints of deep blue and purple amidst the black. I marveled at the grackle’s vibrant plumage and how the colors shifted in the light as he moved.

I was able to get a shot of the grackle before he’d had enough of my presence.

Although our encounter was brief, I was happy to have captured the beauty and attitude of this young Common Grackle. This image showcases not just the grackle’s handsome feathers but also his bright-eyed curiosity. It was a joy to see one of these common birds up close and personal.

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: Canon EF 800 mm f/11


  • Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
  • Date and Time Taken: September 11, 2021 (8:31 A.M.)
  • Program Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f11 (Fixed)
  • Shutter speed: 1/2500
  • ISO: 5000 (Auto)
  • Exposure Compensation: 0
  • Focal Length: 800 mm

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