Great-tailed Grackles moving around

Aaron Maizlish

Twice this morning a pair of Great-tailed Grackles have flown right by my home office window while I was on a conference call.  This is near Mission x Cesar Chavez in a part of the city that has little to no suitable habitat for a Grackle colony.  I can’t say that I’m particularly excited to see them here.  I noted that there have been a few other sightings of Grackles in the city this month, away from their only known breeding colony at Lake Merced. 

So my question is what are they doing?  Are they just migrating through, like everything else right now?  Are they scouting new territories as they continuing their march northward?  Or is this an indication of an effort to form a breeding colony effort in some industrial part of the city?   Grackles are particularly hard on native songbird nests, so while their expansion in the city may be inevitable, in the short term this might not be good on the few sturdy birds that breed in our city parks and street trees.   By the way, though I don’t have any yard I do have a nice view of the neighborhood parklet and the Mission district skyline.  The birds that I see nesting here, within 100 yards of my window are Lesser Goldfinch, House Finch, American Robin, Anna’s Hummingbird, House Sparrow, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Mourning Dove and Hooded Oriole.

Good grackling,

Aaron Maizlish
San Francisco

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