Monday, 20 August 2012

Blackbird nuisance

Brownie has a another nuisance in his life.
Before he can even finish his lunch, these annoying Blackbirds or Grackles (Quiscalus lugubris) are waiting to eat the leftovers.
They are the most common birds on the island. With their sleek jet black feathers, wedge shaped tails, and bright yellow eyes, they are quite pretty, especially when the sun reflects off their plumage.
However, be warned, they are responsible for messing on freshly hung laundry and just washed cars.
They are extremely fast and very bold. I always think they would make great pickpockets, and they somehow remind me of a magpie in their manner of stealing food.
They are extremely LOUD and demanding, and even more so, when Brownie cleans his plate entirely leaving nothing for them.
Every day like clockwork, they show up at lunchtime.

I believe these two are the scouts.
Then more arrive........
 And soon, there are about ten of them, all screeching and hawking and making a "big bundle of noise" for what they believe is rightfully theirs.

They do wait patiently though without advancing until he's through eating.

They love it when he leaves some for them.

I think Brownie takes his good time eating, just to make them wait.  Sometimes, he moves away as if he's finished, and then springs back into action when they go near. They scatter squawking their heads off.
You go Brownie!!!

Here is a link to some articles about these birds which I found interesting.
And yet another link with some more information on these birds.


  1. I hope he catches one one day. That will show them!

  2. They're too fast for him........doves, pigeons, chickens, lizards, mice, centipedes, yes, but never a blackbird....maybe one of these days.

  3. I've come across grackles before in Australia where they are considered a nuisance and a threat to native birds. I suspect that they are not the Quiscalus lugubris but probably a related species. It comes to something though when a self-respecting canine can't even leaves something for a bit later.

    1. Interesting that you mention being a threat to native birds, I do have to chase them when I'm trying to feed the smaller sparrows. They can be extremely aggressive if I don't feed them too.
      Brownie doe not seem to like going back to eat his leftovers, I have never seen him to do this.

  4. Poor Brownie. We've never had a problem with birds stealing Missy's dinner. As far as I can remember she has never left anything on her plate.
    We do have magpies and pigeons stealing the chicken food if they can though.

    1. I think Brownie leaves some back just to tease them...he usually eats everything that he wants...he doesn't seem to like coming back to any leftovers.
      The thing is with these birds is that they steal my neighbour's dog food too!
      Some days I also feed them with bread scraps in the back garden. They're having gourmet meals everyday.


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