Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscala)

27 March

One of the birds that everyone loves to hate because they make a lot of noise and drop fecal sacs produced by the nestlings in your garden pool. But, for a couple of weeks around tins time of year they will sit on your bird feeders, glossy heads shining in the early spring sunshine, fix their yellow-rimmed beady eyes at you and tell you how smart they are.

Often nest in groups (mini-colonies) choosing pines or dense shrubs. The collective noun is, I have learned, a “plague”. One of those interesting birds that go in for “anting” by rubbing insects on its feathers possibly to apply liquids such as formic acid secreted by the insects and help keep parasites away.