Rare post on a common bird

It has been over a year since I last posted. I’m still trying to figure out what to do with the blog going into the future. In the meantime, I visited Texas for the first time and I thoroughly enjoyed the grackles in the city.

grackle

Great tailed grackles (Quiscaulus mexicanus) are a very common bird in urban San Antonio. I saw hundreds roosting on powerlines along the various highways around the city. Now coming from Hawai’i, we just don’t have birds of this size commonly seen in town.

This successful bird highlights the many challenges facing future of human/animal interactions. For many residence of the town, grackles are a nuisance. Their droppings make a mess of vehicles and property. Grackles have been called loud and annoying.

There is also a question of their native status. They seemed to have greatly expanded their range inland in the beginning of the 20th century. Davis (1940) listed great tailed grackles as vagrants to Brazos County. By 1951 Petrides & Davis listed them as resident. Their range seems to still be expanding as human continue to develop urban areas.

Another year, and the questions still remain the same; how do we share this planet that we live on? Someday, I hope we have to worry about the hordes of ‘i’iwi and ‘akiapolo’au raining droppings on our cars. Those are the problems I’d much rather be solving. Happy New Year’s to all!

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