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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Grackle Cackle

Surprised by a sudden snowstorm in the sunny South (everything except the fire ant hills was covered with a thin coat of white, like glaze on a doughnut), a flock of hungry grackles discovered our bedroom window bird feeder.  Grackles are the frat boys of the bird world. They travel in noisy groups, eat whatever they find, and leave nothing but party remnants in their wake.  One had Greek letters tattooed on its forehead and was clutching a longneck bottle in one claw.  They divebombed the smaller, well-studied birds, and their bulk sent our small feeder dancing like a coed in a mosh pit.

In unrelated news, the cats have taken up birdwatching.

Danger Cat in stealth mode
Our cats are peaceful, indoor folk, as a general rule, and are roused in the wild only by the call of the can opener.  Oh sure, every now and then there’s a fierce battle with a catnip mouse or a summer housefly that has invaded enemy airspace, and at least once Danger Cat TP’d our house, but overall they don’t have any trouble keeping up with the Golden Rule, the Ten Commandments, or the grocery list.

Grackles appearing suddenly in their window must have been like the first appearance of Godzilla off the coast of Japan.


Huddled on a blanket-covered steam trunk under the window, they responded with an immediate show of bravery, condensing themselves into tiny kitty stealth missiles and hurling hurtful comments in the direction of the infidels.

The Grackles responded by emptying the bird feeder in less time than it took the Seahawks to sign Peyton Manning’s farewell card.

After a couple of thousand treks outside to watch Bill filling up the feeders in the cold, I came in, removed my  wet snow clothes and began tactics to discourage the Grackles from gorging on the expensive sunflower seed and corn nugget delicacies.  I’m as eager to feed the hungry as the next gourmet chef, but my front yard is not the Prime Buffet for those thrifty enough to help themselves.

In an unannounced attack intended to frighten the offenders and restore the birdseed buffet into the little curved claws of the smaller peepers, I leaped at the window, piercing the air with my best Screech Owl shriek and hammering at the glass with my fists.  Bill fell off the ladder, the cats scattered, and the grackles raised tiny glasses in a toast.

Next time I’ll remember to wear my robe.

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