Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Austin Advent -- The Grackles

Crawck! What is that horrible racket? What are those big scary iridescent black birds?
They are Great-tailed Grackles and they are the Punks of the bird kingdom. Pray that you haven't booked a room that is near a "grackle tree" -- you will get NO sleep.

What do they look like?
Great-tailed Grackle
photo ©2011 Brian Ralphs
Now imagine a bunch of these... worse than those crows on the playground in The Birds! OK, maybe not.

I thought I had a picture of them [I seem to be missing photos from a few Austin trips] but all I have is this:
see them? no?
me either!
look below:
still can't see them?
click on images to see bigger 
I wish I had a recording of their raucous calls, but no. Now that I have a smart phone, maybe I can capture them in all their Bad Bird glory. Meanwhile, if you want to learn more, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a very informative article about them that includes sound and video.