For My Brother
By; Pat Coate
My post last week on Canada geese behavior prompted the following comment from my brother: “…here in the sophisticated South, we view Canada geese as poop-spewing menaces.” There are actually quite a few birds that people consider menaces for a variety of reasons. So, sticking with that theme, today’s post covers a few ‘menace’ birds.
The brown-headed cowbird is not so much a menace to people as to other birds. The female brown-headed cowbird does not build its own nest but lays its eggs in the nest of other birds. Its eggs often hatch before the host bird’s eggs and its young develop faster increasing their chance for survival.
I enjoy having blue jays at my feeder. The ones at my feeder seem well-behaved: they come in for a seed and head off to a nearby tree to enjoy it. However, Calvin Simonds in his book Private Lives of Garden Birds tells the tale of his neighbor’s venomous view of blue jays. Her view contains such descriptions as “bandits”, “brigands just like crows” and “greedy mobs.” I think they are beautiful birds unless……
…you happen to catch them on a bad feather day.
The common grackle is the menace of my feeder. Though I think they have a certain beauty with their sleek bodies, iridescence and striking yellow eyes, they are loud and will often dominate the feeder. They favor a couple neighborhood trees for their evening gatherings and I have wondered if their raucous chatterings were inspiration to Alfred Hitchcock.
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