Sunday, June 7, 2009


Few birds are more dispised than the blackbird family, probably because of the huge swarms they tend to form. Even if you like them, they can get to be too much of a good thing if they are your neighbors.

I personally don't care for starlings--mostly because they are not native and aggressively take over nesting places other native cavity nesters could be using. Although I have to admire their adaptability, I still don't care to see them in my neighborhood. However, I am fairly complaisant about the other blackbirds--mostly because they are not roosting in large groups in my trees and pooping all over my driveway and cars. This is the most common question I get from people--what do I do about grackles in my yard? No one has ever liked my answer--change your habitat.

I have found that people who have grackle problems have nice manicured lawns with a few large trees. This is ideal grackle habitat. Having a thick understory of shrubs and tall grasses tends to discourage large flocks of blackbirds, especially the great-tailed grackles. I do occasionally have one or two of the common grackles come into the yeard, but not many and not for long. However, my neighbors around me (who have much prettier lawns,) have LOTS of grackles. Sometimes it pays to be a slob.

Good birding!

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