Thwarting Spring Grackle Invasions

Common Grackle
Common Grackle

Last spring at about this same time, I had a flock of Common Grackles descend on my bird feeders. While I think they are smart birds with subtly beautiful feathers, I really don’t like their behavior at the feeders. They typically seem to arrive in a group and aggressively go at the feeders, excluding the regulars. They are very persistent about going after what they want and will continue to hang around as long as they can get it. So this spring, I again had to make adjustments to get them to calm down.

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Fifty-Six Cedar Waxwings

Cedar Waxwings at A Bird Bath
Cedar Waxwings at Front Bird Bath

Usually I’m not too thrilled when huge flocks of birds descend on the yard, displacing our “regulars” from the feeders and birdbaths. But I must admit that when fifty-six (at least!) Cedar Waxwings visited this past weekend, I was happily excited. Unlike the big flocks of Common Grackles, European Starlings and Brown-Headed Cowbirds, this crowd was not aggressive towards the other birds and didn’t displace them. They didn’t want anything from the feeders after all. They didn’t mess with the other birds and the other birds didn’t mess with them. They were just there to drink.

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Not Assuming You Know Birds

Mallard Pair (Buddy Attick Lake)
Mallard Pair at Buddy Attick Lake (Nancie Waterman)

If pressed, I would say that I am an intermediate birder. I can successfully identify the common birds, as well as most of the regular migrants and less common birds, that might wander through my area. I’ve also seen some less common and rare birds, around here and in other places, that I would recognize again. Basically, when it comes to identifying birds, I know enough to be dangerous, not in a lethal kind of way, but in that way of assuming I know something that can lead me wrong. Sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know. And that is where you make mistakes . . .

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