I know a lot of people don't like blackbirds of any kind. After all, you can have too much of a good thing. However, I have a soft spot for the Great-tailed Grackle. The males are such an elegant bird with their glossy feathers and huge, beautiful tail. At least until late August, when they lose their breeding plumage in molt. Then they just look goofy.
I started seeing them look scraggly last week, but with all the rain, I did not see any "Grackle Graveyards." Today I did. Driving down the road, I was admiring one of the nicely planted medians in Wichita Falls and saw my first one of the year. Hundreds of grackle tail feathers, sticking straight up out of the grass, looking like tombstones dotting a cemetery. The grackles will be walking around for the next few weeks with no tails. They don't make as much noise, nor do they strut like usual without their tails. It is like they know they don't look as dignified as usual.