This bird was making so much noise calling to another similar bird nearby, I felt compelled to photograph it. Now, the question is: Is it a common grackle? Boat-tailed grackle? Fish crow? Or…perhaps an American crow? So many possibilities!
Based on the color throughout the body, I strongly suspect it's a grackle. So, with that narrowed down, I consulted my trusty Birds of Florida field guide. It says the boat-tailed grackle is more common than the common grackle (how about that for a misnomer?!) and the boat-tailed is described as a "noisy bird". Two reasons to think it's a boat-tailed. Also, apparently boat-taileds north of Gainesville, Florida have yellow eyes….and those elsewhere in Florida have brown eyes. If you look closely, you can see this guy has a brown eye -- and Sarasota is south of Gainesville. Check. Gosh, this bird identification stuff can get tricky! Perhaps if I get the chance, I'll consult with someone at the Audubon visitor center at the celery fields, where I spotted this guy. In the meantime, I'm going with boat-tailed grackle. Unless someone thinks differently.