Monday, March 24, 2008

The Common Grackle

you might find it strange
that I should name
the Grackle
as my harbinger of spring
dark and foreboding against the snow
but with an iridescent glow
the Grackle
has a rainbow hidden within

black and sleek, and long and lean
sometimes with a wicked looking gleam
the Grackle
has the colour of sunshine in its eyes

hearing its rusty-gate song
I know it won't be long
the Grackle
signals the return of spring

Each year the sighting of a Grackle at out bird feeders around the middle of March signals the beginning of the return of the migrant birds. This year our first Grackle sighting was on the 19th, last year it was on the 15th. Next will come the Red-winged Blackbirds and the Robins, and the continuing procession will begin. There will be those birds who have come to stay, and others just stopping by to feed on their way further north; whatever their purpose their appearance will make each day of watching our feeders one of both surprise and delight.

7 comments:

Mary said...

Love the poem....such a perfect description! Especially the "sunshine in its eyes". You took a bird that I tend to dislike seeing....especially if there are a 100 or more out there....and made it beautiful. They do have beautiful color in their feathers.

Sandpiper said...

I love what you wrote. I find them to be a harbinger of spring, too. They're really very pretty birds with thier iridesent feathers and golden eyes. Great pictures!

me and my camera said...

mary and sandpiper:
Thank you both for what you have written. Grackles are not often given the adoration that Robins or perhaps sparrows receive but I do find them beautiful in their own special way. Although by the time they have found their way to my place in large numbers I often wish they would make less noise; but this is only for a brief period of time and then they are gone again.

Daniel Spurgeon said...

Great poem and lovely photos of the grackles. Here is a photo taken yesterday of a Grackle in Alabama.

April said...

The Common Grackle is not common, not with that rainbow in its feathers and sun-coloured eye. Beautiful post!

Texas Travelers said...

The grackle is here in Ft. Worth year-around. I don't know if they are the same birds or are part of a north-south movement. They are interesting birds even if they do border on being pests. They have some unusual songs, calls, notes, squawks sometimes.

I like your story and photos.

Troy

me and my camera said...

daniel:
I think a poem and pictures go further in swaying ones appreciation than does a square paragraph of plain prose.

april:
Thank you for the lovely comment; I think you appreciate the Grackle's beauty as I do.

texas travelers:
I see that there are Great-tailed Grackles in Texas as well as Common Grackles; the Great-tailed being the bigger ones.

Thank you all for your comments.