Let’s dispense with some pertinent info. I like birds. Spotting, watching, listening to all varieties. I have favorites, too.
The grackle is one of those. A fairly common bird but still one that under closer inspection is very different. Often confused with crows, these boisterous foragers are bold.
Their incandescent plumage and light color eyes strike quite an image. They walk around your yard looking for food and squawk at you if you try to approach. These stretched out blackbirds have plenty of attitude.
The oddest or coolest thing is they like to keep clean. While lice is prevalent in many birds, grackles do what they can to scare off parasites. Often grackles will stand on ant hills and let the ants sting them. The acid from the stings repels parasites. When ants aren’t available they use walnut juice, lemons, limes, marigold blossoms, chokecherries or even mothballs to keep the critters off.
Keep clean my fiends!