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Mar 17, 2015

Quiscalus quiscula

Photo by E.J.Peiker
The Grackle
There are 18 species of grackles in the world.   The one pictured above is the Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula).   In 1772, its name was spelled 'Gracule', followed by 'Grakle' in 1782.   The month of March is heralding the arrival of the icterid species and they will soon be bullying the goldfinches into submission in the backyard.

Photo by BarrytheBirder
The Grackle
by Ogden Nash

                                   The Grackle's voice is less than mellow,
                                           His heart is black, his eye is yellow,
                                           He bullies more attractive birds
                                           With hoodlum deeds and vulgar words,
                                           And should a human interfere,
                                           Attacks the human in the rear.
                                           I cannot help but deem the grackle
                                           An ornithological debacle.

Photo by Barry Wallace
There are 44 Common Grackles in the photo above, which I took last spring in my backyard. Although this shot is typical, when there are not quite so many grackles present, it is also common to see Red-winged Blackbirds, Starlings, and Cowbirds mixed in with the grackles. Of course, the other blackbird species are lower on the pecking order, beneath the domineering grackles.

Photo by Linda Wallace
And when one needs a respite from birding, there is the always The Grackle Coffee Company, a landmark coffee shop on Schomberg's Main Street.   It's small, but more than makes up for that, with conviviality, atmosphere and yummy pastries, tarts and cookies.

Photo by BarrytheBirder
Please comment if you wish.

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