Common grackles

The common grackle is one of those birds that both irritates and fascinates.  A flock showed up in our yard in early spring, bringing with them noisy chatter and rowdy behavior at the feeders.  A pair or two stuck around, and during the past couple of months they have been through courtship, nesting, and are now raising a brood which clamor loudly for attention and food.  The juveniles are dull brown with dark eyes. The adults, with their beautiful iridescent colors and stern-looking golden eyes, seem to be devoted to the fledglings, looking out for them and eager to meet their needs.  If the past is any indication, they will all soon move on to places unknown, and the yard will once again be quiet and peaceable.

“It’s amazing how lovely common things become, if one only knows how to look at them.”  ~Louisa May Alcott

5 thoughts on “Common grackles

  1. You were right about our respective bird finds Rebecca … I have not seen these birds here and wonder if they are like starlings which are noisy and used to fight the other birds for their place at the feeder and birdbath in my yard when I still offered them seeds and water. It is funny how the adults can be so noisy and disruptive but when with their offspring, they are much tamer versions of themselves. Too bad they can’t keep that demeanor.

  2. You were right Rebecca – both our featured birds had the same demeanors. It is always amazing to me how these loud and sometimes wild-acting birds show their tender side when with their offspring – if we could only have them exhibit that demeanor all the time. I’ve never seen a Grackle but they remind me a little of Starlings. So I Googled and they are bigger than Starlings. They have the similar iridescent feathers so that is why I thought the birds were the same.

    • I’ve always like the colors of the starling’s feathers. They are smaller, but from your description, their personalities sound a lot alike. I’ve never had starlings at my feeders, though I see them around our area sometimes. I think the juvenile common grackle makes enough noise for himself and the adults. They are very demanding.

      • That is the case with these starlings which I think I read one time are originally from England. They monopolize the bird feeders and are “pushy” … it looks like both comments showed up. I went to your site to see the pictures close up and left the comment on there rather than Reader, and then didn’t see it so re-did it … who knows what happened there?

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