Friday, November 09, 2007

Not a European import, these blackbirds!

What have we here -- it looks like one...

and twenty+ blackbirds waiting for that fabled pie. Except they are not blackbirds, they are great-tailed grackles, our loudest summer visitors from warmer (i.e., Phoenix) climes. This crowd hangs at the cienega at the corner of Whipple, Iron Springs and Willow Creek Roads.

Bro and I happened to be visiting a friend at the hospital immediately adjacent. He noted that there were more than autumn leaves on a nearby couple of trees -- and I lucked out!

Later, looking out the 4th floor window of the hospital, I spotted another collection of the grackles frosting the top of the blue van below.

According to the bird experts at Cornell, for the past century these noisy birds have been migrating north out of Mexico. An Arizona bird book from the mid-60s indicated that the grackles were found as far north as Tucson; today they range north of Prescott! Says the Cornell site, great-tailed Grackles roost together in large numbers outside of the breeding season. In Central America these large, noisy roosts frequently are found in the central plaza of small towns. Sounds like Prescott -- there is a flock that congregates at the Square in the middle of town, despite arts & crafts shows and thousands of tourons. Unlike Firefly Forest (who has a number of good close-ups), I find the grackles' many calls to be reminiscent of jungle movies rather than merely noisy! This past summer I was chased by several lady grackles up near the Whipple/Iron Springs intersection -- must have been egg and/or chick season. I'm very fond of these swaggering birds; my mom has never forgiven the lot of them for the one guy she saw chow down a tiny baby quail in Sun City one day!

Later: I should mention that this evening, bro & I had an absolutely terrific pot roast dinner over at the Gurley Street Grill. Normally, I've found that restaurant (and institutional) pot roast is simply tasteless, sliced roast beef with gravy. Not this. It was POT ROAST as Mom used to make. Yum!!!

8 comments:

Olivia Kroth said...

a gang of grackles
sitting in the bush grackling
their omens loudly

Avus said...

Grackle pie might be a good item on the menu?????

Granny J said...

olivia -- the grackles thank you -- loudly...

avus -- it could go on the menu along with that awesome pot roast.

Jan said...

granny j..I absolutely love the third and fourth photos of the grackles in the trees!

In the third they are sitting with their tails kinda pointed in the same direction, and in the fourth, they are sitting rather helter-skelter!

sheoflittlebrain said...

I like the grackles too, and I find their noise cheerfully melodic. My youngest Grandaughter, Roo used to call them Cackles--not to far off!

Granny J said...

Jan -- we thought that the birds pointed in the same direction were facing into the wind, while the other lot were busy coming and going...

Brain -- I'm with you -- I find them melodic, in a jungle sort of way.

Lucy said...

I never knew a thing about grackles until I started blogging!
When they put the blackbirds in the pie, the trick was to put them in from underneath, if they tried to stuff them down into the dish and put the crust on top - disaster!

Granny J said...

lucy -- I had always wondered about that pie. Now I know. Thank you for the data.

 
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