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Old 04-12-2012, 04:24 PM   #11
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Not a fan, personally. They can wipe out suet cakes as fast as you put them out and they chase away the little birds. I do agree that their colors are wonderful, all speckled and iridescent, but their manners are awful!
Is it possible yours are Starlings? I've not seen grackles with speckles.

We enjoy the Red-winged Blackbirds. One male has been determined to eat our peanuts, but had to practice a bit and now cracks open the shell without a problem. It's been fun to watch.
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:02 PM   #12
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Dapjky, maybe you might want to include some cattails in that pond project if they live in those parts. I also read that the males have quite a number of girlfriends. These pretty birds are not monogamous. Kind of like bird Casanova's. Or harems maybe?
I do want to attract red-wing blackbirds. I plan to include cattails in the yard, but probably not in the pond itself as I don't want to have it overrun by them. Most likely I will create a wetland section behind the pond or somewhat beyond the pond specifically for the cattails.

Two years ago, someone a couple of miles away was tearing out cattails on the side of the road--it is now a mowed area (but I'm wondering if it was a visibility issue as there is another road perpendicular to it)--anyway, I saved one that had some roots and hadn't dried out yet. Unfortunately, after appearing to recover/grow a little, it ended up dying on me. Once I get some established, I hope to get a redwing blackbird to stay--a pair or a harem...whatever works for him!

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I think they look like military officers in dress uniform with insignia on their wings, no wonder the girls go wild. Gorgeous.
LOL!
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:11 PM   #13
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Is it possible yours are Starlings? I've not seen grackles with speckles.
Good catch, Birding Bunch. I'm starting to wonder if Kitcatclub is thinking of the European starling...if so, you won't find many (if any) fans of them HERE.

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We enjoy the Red-winged Blackbirds. One male has been determined to eat our peanuts, but had to practice a bit and now cracks open the shell without a problem. It's been fun to watch.
That would be fun to see--if you can get a video of it, we'd love to see it.
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:55 PM   #14
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Crackles cause people to have fits in town . They will set off concussive cannon like things to get them to move their roosts to other spots. They do cause a mess.
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:40 AM   #15
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I WAS thinking starlings, sorry! I seem to have a mental block about confusing the two. Starlings I can't stand, but I actually rather like grackles. Of course, we don't get many in my yard so spotting one is an occasion. My in-laws used to get them and it was a riot to watch them trying to eat out of a regular birdfeeder - they were just too big for it! They tried every contortion they could just to get a few seeds and slid off the thing as often as not. More fun to watch than squirrels!
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:43 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Kitcatclub View Post
I WAS thinking starlings, sorry! I seem to have a mental block about confusing the two. Starlings I can't stand, but I actually rather like grackles. Of course, we don't get many in my yard so spotting one is an occasion. My in-laws used to get them and it was a riot to watch them trying to eat out of a regular birdfeeder - they were just too big for it! They tried every contortion they could just to get a few seeds and slid off the thing as often as not. More fun to watch than squirrels!
These are also my observations from this spring. After watching their behavior it is hard not to think that Grackles are very smart birds.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:25 PM   #17
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I ran across a website the other night about how smart they are and site said they have been observed reasoning. There was a group of grackles being observed and filmed around some puddles. One puddle was being used for bathing and another for soaking food. One grackle started bathing in the soak puddle. The others started complaining to him but he kept bathing away ignoring the rest who continued to squawk at him. Then a another grackle gets a piece of bread to soak, stands there and studies the now empty but "bath defiled" soak puddle and turns to a new puddle to soak his food in. A decision was made. Its a video and pretty funny.

I also read that the more aggressive birds like grackles, blackbirds and cowbirds by all indications are smarter than other birds.

Grackles remind me of the cartoon characters Heckle and Jeckle. :> <:
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:31 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Kitcatclub View Post
I WAS thinking starlings, sorry! ...Starlings I can't stand, but I actually rather like grackles.
Yay!

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Originally Posted by savannah View Post
I ran across a website the other night about how smart they are and site said they have been observed reasoning. There was a group of grackles being observed and filmed around some puddles. One puddle was being used for bathing and another for soaking food. One grackle started bathing in the soak puddle. The others started complaining to him but he kept bathing away ignoring the rest who continued to squawk at him. Then a another grackle gets a piece of bread to soak, stands there and studies the now empty but "bath defiled" soak puddle and turns to a new puddle to soak his food in. A decision was made. Its a video and pretty funny.
Very interesting.

I think we are only scratching the surface learning about animal communication and intelligence.
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