By in Animals

Grackles, You Cant Live with 'em - You can't live without 'em - They are a PROTECTED SPECIES

I have been plagued by a small flock of about 7 huge black grackles , which are black crows that have arrived in North Texas recently and have not bothered ever to leave. I wish they would. So far they have invaded every garden plot I have made, eating every single seed I planted, and pecked off the red roses, the yellow roses and pecked a dead squirrel that landed in our front yard that I had to immediately dispose of.

I wanted to find a way to chase them off but the scare crow did not work! I mean, I stuffed an old long sleeve shirt and pants and put on gloves and old shoes and a hat and sat it in a reclining plastic lawn chair but they just looked at it with curiosity as they continued to peck at the ground and fly about our back yard, still chasing squirrels and smaller birds.

So I Googled it. Nothing good. The county of Dallas, TX says that the grackle is a protected bird in the state of Texas and it is a crime to kill them. But it says you can report it if it becomes a nuisance. Well they are but if I call, who would I call? The Dallas Bird Catchers Association? No such animal.

So, I stopped putting out a water dish , thinking that might deter them but no it did not. They still come around. It sometimes looks like a scene from the Hitchcock movie THE BIRDS.

So, I figure I have one more course of action. I can build an enclosure out of wood and screen wire and put a door on one side and cover the top and sides completely with the screen wire and that will still let the sunshine in and I can place some raised beds around on either side and grow at least some tomatoes. I know it will cost a bit more to buy supplies but it seems that all I have now is time, since the covid-19 pandemic has made it obvious I am not going anywhere any time soon.


Image Credit » Image by diapicard from Pixabay

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Comments

MegL wrote on May 15, 2020, 10:32 AM

They must be a great nuisance! I saw this website https://www.birdbgone.com/bird/grackle-control/ which said "Hang visual deterrents in trees and problem structures that attract grackles." If you have old CDs or DVDs you don't want any more, you could try hanging those up. I have seen those hanging in trees round here (though we do not have grackles) - not as bird scarers but for children to see them blowing in the breeze and shining. The hole in the middle makes it easy to suspend them from the tree branches, or you could try drilling holes, but I have never done that, so not sure whether they shatter or not. Maybe they would do the trick. I have some old CDs but it would be a bit far to send them!

VinceSummers wrote on May 15, 2020, 7:41 PM

Poor Anthony! It seems like you constantly have some thorn in the flesh pestering you. Can you plant plants instead of seed? Maybe there are plants that grackles don't like.

lookatdesktop wrote on May 21, 2020, 3:06 PM

Actually that is a great idea. I have some basic shrubs that are thriving in the yard in spite of the birds and squirrels. But mainly today I went out and spread about 10 types of flowers in a 12 by 12 foot garden area and placed a long green garden hose all around it mimicking a large snake and a whirlygig in the middle. So far the grackles have left that alone and I put out wild bird seed with mix of sunflower seed and maybe, I might just get something out of my efforts.

lookatdesktop wrote on May 21, 2020, 3:08 PM

I have used coke cans and they all just look ugly and unnatural. The thing is I will only plant things that are basically bird neutral. Because the birds seem to go for just about anything edible. And if I were a grackle I would probably think I was in bird paradise in Anthony's back yard.

MegL wrote on May 22, 2020, 3:31 AM

That's a good idea. Raise the seed inside, then plants out the plants.

MegL wrote on May 22, 2020, 3:32 AM

Another good idea. Birds should be wary of snakes!