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Mar 24, 2010

The Grackle

The GRACKLE
He loudly intrudes hither and thither
Causing some to quake and others to quiver
A black and blue fellow
With eyes sickly yellow
Yet confronted the coward's all a-dither
I don't know why I have this love-hate relationship with grackles, but I do. One moment I'm shooing them away from the feeders, so smaller birds have a chance at the seeds, and the next moment I'm thinking this strikingly good-looking bird is one of my favourites. As it happens, I was in the backyard last week with my camera and one of the visiting grackles commented to me that he had seen me taking pictures of starlings. He claimed he was a much better example of avian resplendency, than the starling. So, I took his picture also. You see it above. I tweaked the sharpness a bit to make him look even more menacingly edgy than he normally appears. I was so impressed with my own efforts, that I blew up the image and had it framed, which you see below. It has now taken a place on a wall in the BarrytheBirder den, which you can see even further below. Ah, Quiscalus quiscula, it seems people either love you or hate you. And while the grackle has only one latin name, he has many nicknames, such as Cling-cling, Chango, Mozambique, Bequia-sweet and Tinkling. He's known as Ting-Ting in Jamaica, Ching-ching in the Caymen Islands, and Pichon Prieto in Puerto Rico. In Haiti, he's known as just plain Merle. I'm not fond of grackles because they are greedy, shrieking bullies. But I like them because they are bold and handsome (in a Darth Vader kind of way) and because they are harbingers of spring. Please comment if you wish. BtheB

1 comment:

A said...

Now that's a fun poem!