Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Grackles, Enough to Raise Hackles

The red shouldered hawk pair over the weekend and now new visitors are signs of spring coming to our side of the river.

Like Robert Brady's marauding monkeys of Japan or the locusts that Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about in one of her books, the black murder of grackles descended on the river yesterday. Their migratory freeway must pass this way. The sky was filled with dark kites...numbering in the hundreds...maybe thousands. They were noisy and bold and acted as if no one else needed sustenance here.

Everything in their path was theirs for the taking. Just like a motorcycle gang at the local stop in the desert, they took what they wanted and left the dregs for the rest of the birds. In a few hours they had completely emptied the sunflower feeder and then snacked a little on the thistle seed. They even kept the squirrels at bay. Then they flew to the tops of the trees to clean their bills and fertilize the tree roots.

They are still around today, but spread out wide with various watchmen sitting in the high trees along the river waiting to see if the feeders will be re-filled. I put out a small plastic tray of bird seed on the deck for the resident birds to snack and am going to see if I can out- wait these birds that had hijacked the feeder from our regular visitors yesterday.

They have to move on sometime I am guessing...


  1. I like your nature pictures. I can't believe you were a bureaucrat in another life...must have been several generations ago.

  2. Not that long ago...but I still have nightmares of hours of budget meetings and wordsmithing milestone reports!


Glad to hear from you once again. I really like these visits. Come sit on this log and tell me what you are thinking.