Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Gunning for Grackles

Does anyone else out there have problems with Grackles?

They are horrible, noisy birds that seem to become a bigger nuisance each year in Southern Ontario. Last summer I witnessed a gang of them attack a baby bird and mutilate the poor thing.

There are lots of websites with tips. Just wondering if anyone has had personal success getting rid of them?

They are distracting me big time. Thanks.


* * * *

Update: The grackles are now staging a tree reclamation right outside my window.

Should I:

(a) - Try to chase them away?
(b) - Call in the OPP to keep the peace? or
(c) - Feed them baby birds and worms while we negotiate?

15 comments:

Clive said...

You should find a washed-up former politician with a whiff of corruption and scandal about them, arrange to pay her (say) around $300,000 and have her start negotiations with the grackles.

At the same time you should call the OPP so they can come and watch.

Don't forget to apply for compensation from the provincial government, who will probably give you $10 after about six months.

Then sit back and watch as the grackles chop down, cut, split and burn your tree.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

lol! Yeah, Clive, I'm not optimistic.

Just found some beak fossils in the ground, which may prove that their ancestors were here before mine.

Sure do hope they're 'gone by winter' though...

PGP said...

Are you baiting us Jo?

I'll refrain from obvious snide comments referencing liberals/grackles that are leaping to mind as I type!

Grackles are serious a nuisance!
Noise makers help but you'll have to make peace with your neighbours.

Serious community efforts include use of Poisoned bait!

Just be careful to keep pets away.
The presence of the grackles will ensure that other birds species are relatively safe from the poison but you'll have to keep an eye out for them.

Longing for the days when you could grab a shotgun and go blast away when invaded by pests? I am.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I'll refrain from obvious snide comments referencing liberals/grackles that are leaping to mind as I type

I admire your restraint!

My neighbours must be questioning my husband's sanity as he stands outside clapping his hands and making menacing bird gestures.

Gabby in QC said...

There's plenty around my neighbourhood too - the real grackles, that is, not the metaphorical ones you may/may not be referring to. But I figure that if they stay around, it must be because there's plenty of grubs & other insects for them to feast on, so there's a balance there.

I do agree that their behaviour is quite uncivil, though. I used to put out a bird bath on my balcony, but they were so aggressive & proprietary, chasing away other birds, that I took the bird bath away. Sort of like human behaviour ...

Here's some interesting links:
http://www.bellewood-gardens.com/01-2007.html
"What Do You Call a Collection of Geese?
There are collective nouns: a herd of horses, for example. Other animals also aggregate in herds: deer, reindeer, caribou, buffalo, and cattle. You could have a flock of sheep or a flock of chickens. Some nouns are fanciful, such as a murmuration of starlings.

These, however, are grackles. And I could not find an aggregate noun for them. Deciding to coin my own, I propose a *cluttering of grackles.*"

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/BOW/COMGRA/
"Their diet consists of a wide variety of animal and vegetable food, including insects and invertebrates but also occasional eggs and nestlings."

Gabby in QC said...

"My neighbours must be questioning my husband's sanity as he stands outside clapping his hands ..."

Maybe your husband is turning off all those lamps that turn off with a clap of one's hands ... and thus reducing energy consumption. :-)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Maybe your husband is turning off all those lamps that turn off with a clap of one's hands ... and thus reducing energy consumption. :-)

Ha! Talk about killing two birds with one stone!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

*cluttering of grackles*

Much too pleasant.

How about a *grating* of grackles?

Gabby in QC said...

"Ha! Talk about killing two birds with one stone!"
- Good one!
"How about a *grating* of grackles?"
- Excellent - and alliterative too!

Off Topic but interesting:
Belinda's not running in the next election.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Off Topic but interesting:
Belinda's not running in the next election.


VERY interesting. So one more rat deserts the sinking ship...

Anonymous said...

Gackles???? Never heard of them, but I guess I lived in the wrong part of Ontario. I had lots of pigeons on my balcony deck in downtown Toronto....

I just saw a crow out my window....same guy/gal as yesterday I think. He/she was pecking through the fresh-fallen snow (April 9 snow) for something shiny I guess.

Belinda's leaving politics....do you think that maybe her heart wasn't in it??? :-)...She writes (?) an op-ed piece one day, and then drops out of politics 2 days after.

Changing hair color...changing parties....changing jobs....(shrug)...who cares?

What's really interesting is the upcoming inquiry into polling firms (namely Earnscliffe) contracts with Paul Martin....

raz

Joanne (True Blue) said...

What's really interesting is the upcoming inquiry into polling firms (namely Earnscliffe) contracts with Paul Martin....

Raz, that's right! Why would Harper want an election now? Things just keep getting better & better! (grackles notwithstanding).

Anonymous said...

Joanne, I'm going to have to google about gackles....or gackle about googles...:-)

By the sounds of it, I should be grateful I didn't come across any, nor have any in my vicinity here.

We have lots of magpies and crows....they're neat to watch, as they find the highest point on a building to serve as a look-out while the rest of the brood eats.

As for Earnscliffe, I almost fell off my chair when I saw David Herle on t-v a couple of years ago.....because....I knew him and his sister when they were little.

Things can sure change, or I should say, people change according to what's presented to them in life.

Nuff said.

raz

AC Martin said...

I have a problem with grackles at the bird feeders--they chase away the small and pretty song birds. They are lovely birds, with their iridescent blue heads but they don't play well with other's at the feeders!
I have seen such aggressive behaviour from them. Once I saw a bunch of them using tactical maneuvers to chase a cat from the neighborhood! It was very odd to see birds chasing a cat but I felt sorry for the cat, it couldn't even stand up to run away without being dived upon.
I laughed at the comment about the husband standing outside clapping loudly---I do the same thing! They seem not to like the sound and I clap until they fly out of sight. The smaller birds don't seem to mind, they fly to upper branches for a moment then return to the feeders.
I have also discovered that human voice frightens them away. So I walk outside and say "Grackles go away!" in a normal voice and they take flight.
The problem is that they keep coming back! I have such a beautiful array of song birds at the feeders but I fear they won't keep coming if the grackles persist. I also have a problem with starlings. Their behaviour isn't much different and the numbers are equally as large.
Any new ideas?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Best thing to do is don't let them nest. Once they lay eggs you're sunk.