Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Backyard Bully

We've had snow just about all day. I'm so glad I didn't have to get out and go anywhere, for more reasons than one.
I love to stay home and watch my bird feeders on snowy days. The snow seems to bring in the birds. There are some that I only get to see when it's snowing.

Today I had a common grackle (?) at the bird feeder. Was it ever the bully!

I don't like house sparrows, but I dislike bullies even more. The grackle was attacking the poor sparrow, I snapped a few pictures, (had to do that first), and then opened the patio doors to shoo them away. They both flew to the back of the yard, the sparrow seemed to be uninjured. I'm sure this spring if I have bluebirds fighting with sparrows over my bluebird house again, I'll regret this decision.

I took lots of bird pictures today!

21 comments:

Frances said...

Oooh, I hate bullies too. Good for you shooing them away. Poor little sparrows, no faire, you big brute! Can't wait to see your other photos. :-)
Frances

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

LOL, the Goldfinch are acting like nothing is going on. Just doing their thing. I chase the bullies away also. We are tired of snow!
Lona

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

No bulling allowed.

I know that it is nature and all that, but still.....

Jen

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I like the order in which you do things.Pictures first and then take care of the rest.Way to go.
Blessings,Ruth

nancybond said...

Grackles can be real piggies. :) I actually love the little sparrows, but then, we don't have that many. Lots of gold finches, purple finches and chickadees, along with a curious mix of starlings, blue jays and pigeons. Never a dull moment around the feeder here.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I think it is that evil yellow eye. I don't like grackles either. I have watched them tackle and eat house finches and house sparrows around our feeders. For some reason it makes me mad. However if a Cooper's Hawk comes through and grabs one of them I don't mind. Now what is that all about?? It seems to me that a Grackle should be satisfied with the seed. But like you described them, they seem like just mean bullies. No reason for it. There is much about nature we don't understand. Great photos by the way.

Sue said...

I enjoy seeing your bird pics. I'd be out there shooing the bully, too. It's currently 0 degrees in my town in Nebraska. Brr!

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

I've never seen a grackle tackle a sparrow...or any bird tackle any other bird. Those pic's are very nice and show exactly what happened. First things first:) But good thing you shooed them away. I read Lisa's comment where she has seen grackles 'eat' small birds? Geez, I didn't know they did that. Horrible. Well, I'll be on the lookout here. I haven't seen any grackles yet this year:) Or house sparrows. Just lots of finches, and the other colorful birds, luckily.

flowergardengirl said...

I guess they had a grumpy day. They were hoping for sunshine. My prayers are with you Robin. Big hugs!

beckie said...

Robin, it was a day to stay in for sure! Snow, blowing and cold here too, but I had to go to work this afternoon. Brrr! We have a few bullie grackles but a lot of starling bullies. they try to keep any other bird from the feeder.

Great pictures, I know you had a wonderful time taking them. Stay warm!!

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Hi Robin, bullies are never pleasant I have a Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)in my backyard this year. 'He' usually fly south during the winter but this year he decided to stay grrr...
xoxo Tyra

Robin Wedewer said...

I'm with everyone else on disliking those wicked grackles. We had a flock move in like a mean motorcycle gang last winter and take over all the feeders. I couldn't do anything but remove them altogether until the grackles gave up and went away.

This year, if they come back, I'll put up grackle-proof feeders.

Good for you for shooing away the wretch.

Robin Wedewer
National Gardening Examiner

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

Fortunately, we don't seem to get Grackles here.

Cameron

tina said...

What a bully! And great pics of the fight.

Gail said...

Robin,

Great shots and I know more will come! I really don't like bullies of any kind...so glad you rescued the sparrow. I think Hitchcock should have used the Crackle in his 'The Birds' movie!

Keep warm.

Gail

Mother Nature said...

It seems like every kind of bird was at the feeders today. It is a lot colder than usual today. I have heard sparrows are harmful to bluebirds. They try to kill them.
Donna

A New England Life said...

My gosh, that is a MEAN bird! Great photo's though. Darned those awful little sparrows, but it pulls at your heartstrings to see something so innocent be abused for no reason.

Susan Tomlinson said...

Oh those are wonderful photos. You've done a terrific job of catching some of the flight, too. That's so hard to do well...

Mary said...

I usually break up the fights unless a house sparrow or starling is taking a licking :o) I should be kinder, I know...

Kathleen said...

I had no idea grackles would eat small birds like the sparrow in your photo. I thought they were seed eaters?? That is a lucky sparrow ~ he has you to thank for his life today.

Anonymous said...

the grackle should pick on someone his on size like a blue jay