Tuesday, June 2, 2015


The grackle’s voice is less than mellow,
His heart is black, his eye is yellow,
He bullies more attractive birds
With hoodlum deeds and vulgar words,
And should a human interfere,
Attacks that human in the rear.
I cannot help but deem the grackle
An ornithological debacle.
                                                                  Ogden Nash

Warm weather being upon us, and self somewhat paltry in stamina due to my own laziness, I have begun to take longish sort of walks in the not-quite summer weather. I walk briskly. I stride vigourously along the shoreline of the lake, watching the gulls and terns at the fishing, the sandpipers, dancing at the very edge of the water. And I encountered The Grackle.

See this thing:

From Wikipedia

That is a grackle, a not uncommon creature in these parts... They have their points.Their plumage, sooty from a distance, upon close observation, turns out to be iridescent - deep blue and green and purple gleam out from the black depths. So beauty we might grant them. That is one point. They are also fierce - brawly fierce. I have, myself, seen a mere handful of them drive away a raven, and it was a mighty satisfying sight indeed. But neither iridescent plumage nor ferocity can change the fact that I like the grackle very little. They are Not Nice Birds.

They have terrifying yellow eyes:

From Hilton Pond

And they used these horrible orbs to give the innocent passer-by the malocchio. And if said passer-by is not intimidated by it, the grackle follows, golden eyes fixed maniacally upon him:

A black bird with yellow eyes sitting on a railing.
From National Park Service

From eBird Seed

From memecreater.org

Still, I am not one to be intimidated by a small, iridescent blackbird, however evilly he might stare. I've got a fairly decent stare myself, if we come right down to it. But grackles, you see, have another trick hidden up their feathers: for the sheer hell of it they dive-bombing things.....

From ABC Local

Being dive-bombed by a grackle is exciting. I know, One did that to me this morning - cawed ill-humouredly first, then hurled itself down on my from upon high. It wasn't out for blood. Its claws merely scraped against my scalp as it snagged a great lock of my hair and attempted to fly off with it. It was alarming and startling, but I can't say it really hurt. I thought I must be near the thing's nest, but a glance upwards, revealed a nest around which a whole squadron of swallows was wheeling, so I could not even find a good excuse for the wretched beast. It was just a mean-hearted bird that had probably had a bunch if indignant swallows chasing it off all morning, and figured it just needed to put the fear of God into some unsuspecting, flightless beast... and I was handy.

From i.imgur.com

1 comment:

Treskie said...

*snort* you're a dork.