Thursday, 27 June 2013

Grackle Trouble and One Thousand Gifts...Days 169 ~ 177

So we've had some problems with Grackles over here at the Vanderlaan residence...more precisely Grackle poo in our pool.  Some Grackles built a nest in the front peek of our shed, our unfinished shed, which made it more attractive as a building site.  Anyway, we'd been noticing this Grackle flying by our pool and dropping things into the pool which turns out was baby Grackle poo.  The adults clean out the nest and bring their poo elsewhere and I guess our pool looked like the perfect bombing site for all this Grackle poo.

We were actually quite annoyed with these Grackles and their need to deposit their poo into our pool.  Every time I saw one out near the pool I'd holler at it and chase it away.  The other day I vacuumed our pool and got it all clean and two days later there were probably 50 Grackle poos resting on the bottom...I was annoyed.  I'm reminded of the saying, "Cleaning house while the kids are still growing, is like shovelling snow, while it's still snowing."  As long as that Grackle nest was still occupied our pool would not remain clean.

One day I was out in the garden weeding and had the cat with me, he just hangs around watching me work.  He's not your typical cat, he likes the company of people and likes to be cuddled, he's a special cat, you can read about his story here and here.  Well these Grackles who felt threatened wouldn't stop squawking at Clementine.  I have to admit as I was pulling weeds I also came across some rocks and used them on those Grackles.  I do love animals but these Grackles were driving me nuts.  From dropping their poops into my pool to squawking like crazy I'd had enough.  I got the ladder and thought I'd check out these pesky birds, thinking maybe I should get rid of them.  An awful thought I know but it was a moment of desperation.

I climbed the ladder while the parents squawked and dive bombed me and there they were four little babies, no wonder my pool looked the way it did.  Anyway, there was no way I could harm these little creatures.  It's funny I said they had the mansion of bird nests because there wasn't just one little nest in there but four nest areas all in row.

So we looked on line to see how we could remedy this problem apart from getting rid of the babies.  Others have had this same problem with Grackle poo in their pool.  There were lots of ideas but I don't think anything really worked.  Our only option was to wait it out until those babies grew old enough to fly the coop, which was about 2 1/2 weeks.

This past Saturday I decided to get some shots of these babies since they were venturing out of their nest area.  I climbed the ladder, took some shots and thought I'd just get one more and well two of the babies jumped to the ground and the parents came, actually four Grackles came and they weren't happy and I felt bad. I scrambled down the ladder once again being dive bombed and captured these two babies who jumped ship.  I climbed back up and put them in the nest only to have them jump out again.  I know once they're out you'll never get them back in but I had to try.  So I grabbed them again, parent Grackles squawking and dive bombing, babies squawking, woman in pj's ducking trying her best to salvage a photo session gone amuck.

Don't you just love their little tufts at the top of their head.  Some may think they look kinda ugly, I think they're kinda cute.

Two babies in my hands, adult Grackle at my back. Jocelyne took my camera while I was rescuing the babies and captured these shots of her crazy mother :)

Desperately trying to salvage the mess I made of this family of Grackles as one parent tries to give me a hip check ;-)

There's one angry parent.

Well the babies wouldn't stay put and they scattered through out the yard.  I felt bad.  We locked up the cats and hoped these little ones would survive.  On Sunday I found one of the babies as the cat was  prowling after it in the yard.  I grabbed the cat put him back inside and went back out and captured the baby and put it in a tree.  I found some slugs and a worm and fed it.  I wasn't sure if the parents had abandoned it, no sooner did I wonder that  and then I heard that familiar squawking as the parents came dive bombing in. Over the next couple days this baby lived in the pine tree and the parents came and fed it.  I'm not sure where the others are but I do hear squawking and Grackle calling out in some of the other trees so I like to believe they all made it ;-)

Since the babies have left the nest rather unexpectedly our pool has remained clean and we are now able to swim in it.  I'm still not a fan of Grackles they can be a pest of a bird but I have learned some things about them...

They are fiercely protective of their young.  What I've read on line is that they think the reason for dropping the poo in our pool and not just on the ground below the nest was in order not to alert a predator to their nesting site...pretty smart eh!  Just not so nice for us :-)  They may fear us humans but go near their young and you'll have some angry Grackles on your tail.  And it's not just the two parents protecting their young but others as well.  I had four come at me when I was attempting to put the babies back in the nest.  You know the Chinese proverb, "It takes a community to raise a child."  It seems these Grackles live that out.  And last but not least they don't abandon their young even when they've left the nest unexpectedly, they'll still protect and feed them.

I am amazed at God's creation, the design, the instinct built into these creatures.  Our God is an amazing God...

One Thousand Gifts journaled days 169 ~ 177

505. Feeling much better after my bout with food poisoning
506. A father helping his son
507. Charissa out for a ride on Amadeous
508. Beautiful sunlight
509. Great walk and talk with a neighbour down the road
510. Chatting with the youngest
511. The days are so beautiful
512. Wonderful time of fellowship and Bible study
513. That God would use me
514. The sound of horse hoofs on the pavement
515. The eldest is home
516. Dinner with friends
517. Celebrating a four year old
518. Gorgeous orange sunset
519. Connecting
520. The eldest enjoying a Sunday afternoon at home with friends
521. The beauty of the moon
522. Apologies
523. My husband seeing/understanding my heart
524. Strawberry picking with Jocelyne and Sarah and then making some jam
525. A hard days work
526. Less humidity
527. My husband doing the dishes
528. Beauty in the what the world would say is not beauty
529. Breezes on a hot day
530. Work for the business
531. Daisies in the sunshine

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