Grackles have to be one of the most persistent birds that come into my backyard. If they want something, they sure don’t know how to quit until they get it.
They’re also opportunists and bullies. If there is a free meal they’ll figure some way to get at it. And they’ll eat just about anything. The downside is they chase away any other birds, so they are a problem for most backyard birders.
At first glance grackles are pretty ordinary, maybe a bit ugly to most people. But if you can get the sun to hit them just right, their color is a spectacular hue of purple and blues, so they’re not really that ugly. And they can be fun to watch.
There is a group of 3 grackles that have been hanging around together all summer. The suet feeder gave them a bit of trouble but they were nothing short of determined. While it’s probably bad manners on my part, I enjoyed watching them trying to solve how to get on that feeder and get to the good stuff.
I did have a bit of fun with these three and I wasn’t overwhelmed with a huge flock, so that turned out pretty much ok for me.
If you’re not familiar with grackles, or haven’t spent any time watching them you might have missed the fact that they are quite smart. While they look like they’re coming at a problem without any thought, if you watch them closely you’ll notice they take some time to think on their problem and how best to solve it. If something isn’t working they try something different. If they have some success then they try that again. In the end they seem to figure something out to get what they want.
This trail camera video catches these grackles in action trying to solve the problem of getting the food from the suet feeder.