[CT Birds] Common Grackle behavior

Frank Mantlik mantlik at sbcglobal.net
Sat Sep 28 23:27:29 EDT 2013

I have seen that feeding behavior by Common Grackles (on acorns) in my yard many times over the past 14 autumns. 
It would be neat to get some video of it.

Frank Mantlik

 From: charles barnard jr <chbarnjr at gmail.com>
To: "ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org" <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> 
Sent: Saturday, September 28, 2013 10:59 PM
Subject: [CT Birds] Common Grackle behavior

Lately, there have been flocks of Common Grackles numbering from a few
hundred to as many as between 3 and 4 thousand grackles in the trees and on
the lawns around my condominium area. I have noticed that many of these
grackles are actually eating acorns and beech nuts among other things. They
place the acorns in the back end of their beaks and manage to apply enough
pressure to break the shell. I don't know how they manage the beech nuts
because of all the sharp "spines" on the outer husk, but the birds do

I went to a website (see link below) that gives excerpts from Bent's Life
Histories of birds and noticed that there is a reference to the fact that
in some places, at least at the time of Bent's entries, that Common Grackle
often nested in the interstices of all the sticks of Osprey nests. I have
never seen that and wonder if anyone else has seen it? Osprey nests became
very scarce at one point in the 20th century, so maybe the chain of that
nesting habit was broken.


Charlie Barnard Jr
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