I have a white-tailed blackbird in my yard. You don’t see many of those, and I wish I didn’t see mine. She’s a grackle, a big thieving grackle that eats my expensive sunflower hearts and she has lots of friends.
We noticed this bird a few weeks ago. When she’s pecking around on the ground, it looks like she has just one or two white tail feathers, but when she flies and fans out her tail, half of her tail has white feathers and the other half is black.
Though grackles are pests, I haven’t been hit as hard this year. I have maybe 20 grackles, but last year I had over 50. They were eating me out of house and home. I had to take out my sunflower seeds and use safflower seeds. Grackles (and squirrels) don’t eat safflower seeds.
This year, they are tolerable and the good thing about grackles is they don’t stay forever. They will likely move out by mid-summer, completely gone until next spring.
There are two types of grackles in Virginia, the common grackle and the boat-tailed grackle. The boat-tailed bird has a huge tail, longer than its body. I don’t think I’ve ever had any of those.
Recently, we have been tossing out stale bread and crackers for the birds and the grackles are all over that stuff, hauling it away to feed their young.
Grackles build their nests high in pine trees and their young are a favorites food of nest-raiding crows. As far as I’m concerned, the crows can have all they want and I’ll be glad when my flock of grackles is long gone.