Monday, March 9, 2009

326 - Things With Wings

These are European Grackles, a rather invasive species of bird. They have just about taken over here, and the Mockingbird, Cardinal, and Blue Jay populations are declining because of them. They are opportunists, and will eat other birds' eggs and babies. Their voices sound like rusty hinges, loud and creaky. They are aggressive -- I've seen one grab a sparrow by the wing and pound it against the ground! Only human intervention (mine) kept him from killing the little bird! Yet, they seem to be devoted mates: One male whose mate lay dead by the sidewalk (probably a hit-by-car victim), kept a vigil by her side for hours. He left her only when someone walked by, and returned after the human was gone. He did not abandon her until sundown, when it was time to go roost with the others.

The ones in the photo are doing their post-bath grooming, having had a good time splashing in the nearby pond. They may be obnoxious, but they're clean!

5 comments:

  1. Sounds like the bloody Indian Minors that are devestating our local birdlife.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Clean is a good thing....we those all over here too and last year they were even chasing the squirrels. Clean and brave!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great shot, thanks for the explanation. Bad birds they are. Maybe they're practicing for the next horror film.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your story to go with the photos is really interesting. Especially the devotion of the male after his mate died....

    ReplyDelete
  5. Obnoxious is right....they take over wherever they are. Nice shot though! Love just a hint of the sky in the background!

    ReplyDelete