Hyperactive Clamdigger

By Henry H. Mitchell, October 2010.

As seen in the video at right, on an October morning a lone Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major) scurries frenetically at the edge of the surf, where large numbers of Coquinas (Donax variabilis) are exposed with each advance and retreat of the waves. The male Grackle uses his beak like a nutcracker to pop the Coquinas open, so he can gulp the meat.

Considering the unlimited feast he is experiencing, one would think that others of the many Boat-tailed Grackles residing nearby would come and join the festivities. But no, our subject remains alone with his bounty.

See further articles on the Boat-tailed Grackle and the Coquina.

This guide to Myrtle Beach is sponsored by Mitchells Publications.