Dirty Birds

Today, a group of common grakles usurped our backyard feeder from a clutch of sparrows. Grackles – such bullies, such dirty birds.

“The common grackle forages on the ground, in shallow water or in shrubs; it will steal food from other birds. It is omnivorous, eating insects, minnows, frogs, eggs, berries, seeds, grain and even small birds and mice. Grackles at outdoor eating areas often wait eagerly until someone drops some food. They will rush forward and try to grab it, often snatching food out of the beak of another bird. Grackles prefer to eat from the ground at bird feeders, making scattered seed an excellent choice of food for them. In shopping centers, grackles can be regularly seen foraging for bugs, especially after a lawn trimming.”



They descend,
shards of shattered
night, black

with green

as if their feathers
were slick
with oil;

from the pine trees
they descend
to bully the sparrows

that twitch beneath
the empty feeder,
frantic for fallen seed,

bully them, squawks
and flurry, until each
sparrow darts away,

finds sanctuary on the rail fence –
a cluster
of angry children,

and plotting.



5 thoughts on “Dirty Birds

  1. Very good! We don’t see grackles here often. More in southern Utah, I think. But the crows or ravens or whatever they are are thick as thieves around here and they bug the heck out of my mourning doves as they try to eat off the ground under our feeder. Could just see all those sparrows lined up on that fence!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I take it you’re a bird person, too, then? I always find them to be harbingers of good tidings. Or so I fancy. Though I’m not fond of those great big black birds. A little to Hitchcock for me. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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