[CT Birds] Sherwood Island Boat-tailed Grackles: "Westoni" Subspecies?

Mark Szantyr birdinggeek at gmail.com
Tue Apr 19 19:01:16 EDT 2016

From Birds of North America.   

"In first year, eye color of both sexes (Q. m. torreyi; see Systematics: Geographic Variation) brown, turning pearl gray (81) than toward color of adults. Male eyes gradually turn buff-yellow (53) in year 2; usually ocher or chamois in beginning of year 3. Eye-color change in females more gradual: full yellow often not attained until middle of year 3, when many (7 of 12 known-age birds) still had gray eyes. However, some year-2 females had yellow eyes, and some year-5 females had gray eyes; possible that eyes of latter do not become yellow (WP). Factors affecting eye-color changes need further study."

Mark Szantyr

> On Apr 19, 2016, at 4:40 PM, Jory Teltser via CTBirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> wrote:
> While editing the photos of the continuing male Boat-tailed Grackle at
> Sherwood, I had a shocking realization that the color of the birds eyes are
> BROWN and not yellow.  Westoni is the Florida/Gulf Coast population with
> this characteristic (while the torreyi/alabamensis population that occurs
> normally in CT have yellow eyes), so a CT record would be very rare, if not
> a state first.  Any input on this ID would be greatly appreciated.
> Below is the link my Flickr page with a couple photos of the bird
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/132251726@N03/26528643325/
> -- 
> Jory Teltser
> Westport
> *Check out the Connecticut Young Birders Blog!*
> https://connecticutybc.wordpress.com/
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