Tuesday, February 18, 2014
52 - The Birds
In the parts of Texas where I've lived, there are very large populations of Grackles. The flocks are so dense that they can be quite spectacular - huge black swirling clouds of flapping feathers. It's literally like a scene from The Birds. My photos here don't really capture that unfortunately (I couldn't get them all to fly at once).
Grackles come in such numbers that they're commonly considered a nuisance. I remember in Austin the Grackles were so bad on the University of Texas campus that their poop on the sidewalks would turn into a nasty, smelly slipping hazard when it rained! If the fall didn't kill you the smell would. They tried all kinds of things to drive them off campus, and what finally worked was firing off blank ammunition rounds all around campus in the evenings for several weeks.
They get quite brazen too. I've sat on restaurant patios and have had Grackles swoop in to steal food off my table!