Ugh….they have returned….
After a much needed reprieve of the past 5 months, the buzzards have come back.
To turn my outdoor space into a noisy, poop-filled rookery. It may not seem like it, but I actually do like birds and even painted murals of birds on my bedroom walls as a youngster. Birds are fascinating, from the regal and majestic Eagles and Ospreys’ that fish outside our front window on the Homestead, to the teensy hummingbirds that visit my feeder every summer and who doesn’t love the happy sound of the chick-a-dee-dee-dee’s as they flit from branch to branch?
But these horrid, smaller versions of ugly black buzzards hold no beauty in my eyes.
The Common Grackle
Sure, the males may look pretty with their iridescent plumage, but the beauty stops there. The call they make are the stuff nightmares are made of, and I am pretty sure Hitchcock used an audio of them in his movie ‘The Birds’. It sounds just like a screechy, rusty hinge being opened on a 100 year old wrought iron gate. I pulled into the driveway the other day and as soon as I stepped out of the car, I heard the noise that I liken to fingernails on a blackboard. I looked up and there were two males high up in the locust tree, announcing their return and trying to out-call each other for mates. ‘Damn’ I muttered….2 months of hell has arrived.
If you have never had the experience of dealing with these ‘rats with wings’, count yourself lucky. They hoard feeders, chase off any other avian competition and will steal eggs and kill baby birds from other birds nests’. They also have very nasty habit of dropping their own youngster’s poop with such incredible aim in my backyard that it always ends up at the bottom of my in-ground pool or on the solar blanket…and you can forget about trying to keep your car clean too. I feel like someone put the Target logo over top my property.
Grackles love to nest in evergreen/cedar trees and as luck would have it (for them), my rear yard has one long continues 10′ high cedar hedge/nesting site enclosing the yard. I spend the months of April and May with a 3-pronged garden trowel taped to a broom handle yanking the half-built nests out almost daily. I am, if anything, just as persistent as them…. probably more so. The females finally give up and go elsewhere, keenly aware that their biological clock is ticking. I then joyously high-five myself.
Once the nesting season has passed and the heat of summer sets in, the birds disperse to scrounge for whatever scraps they can find, until finally, after the first few cold days in October, they disappear south to annoy my American neighbours. Peace and quiet then returns to my outdoor oasis…until it starts all over again next March….