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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 02-06-2015, 10:53 AM
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Re: banned in certain states

I'm sitting here with my Quaker on my shoulder and looking at the Brooklyn Parrots page and absentmindedly clicked the "What do they sound like?" link. Bacca stood motionless and attentive for the duration of that recording.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 02-06-2015, 12:17 PM
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Re: banned in certain states

[quote=thekarens;464907]
Quote: Originally Posted by Birdman666 View Post
So far, I haven't had any at my feeders, though I have seen a flock of them in a park across town...

I don't know how you managed that. We like to bird watch and Texas is a great state for that and you can't go 5 feet without running into house sparrows. They will nest anywhere in humongous flocks. I see them nesting in the letters on store fruits and under overpasses and in our bushes. They are cute, but majorly invasive. They drive off our house finches, mourning and inca doves at our feeders.
Oh, house sparrows... I have those nesting in my bushes... I thought you meant quakers. I haven't had any quakers at my feeders... But I have seen feral quakers in San Antonio.

What I can't believe is the local Grackle population. We have a colony that nests near us that appears to number in the thousands... That seems to be the dominant species around here. They're very territorial.

I watched them mass and chase off a falcon the other day... That was interesting.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 02-06-2015, 12:18 PM
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Re: banned in certain states

Quote: Originally Posted by flyingron View Post
I'm sitting here with my Quaker on my shoulder and looking at the Brooklyn Parrots page and absentmindedly clicked the "What do they sound like?" link. Bacca stood motionless and attentive for the duration of that recording.
Yep... who's that talking to me?! I didn't know there was a flock of my kind nearby...
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:58 PM
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Re: banned in certain states

Grackles are native, house sparrows are not. They were introduced. They are a European bird.
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Old 02-06-2015, 01:40 PM
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Re: banned in certain states

Grackles are actually really interesting birds, with a very, very sophisticated and complex flock structure and hierarchy. They all seem to have "jobs" within the flock... You have forager (worker bees), Supevisors/dominant bird/fighters who patrol territory, and sentries posted all over...

They "talk" to one another all day long. I know the flock alarm. I know what a few other calls mean... haven't figured them all out yet, but they have a pretty sophisticated language. (Amazon sophisticated...)

And I've watched the dominant birds come and "post" sentries where he wants them, and come down and "chew out" foraging birds for slacking off...

They know how to open doors at the grocery store too. One day I was at Walmart, which is Ground zero for Grackle's around here. There are at least 3,000 birds roosting on the powerlines, trees and rooftops over there.

I watched a bird trigger the sensors. He made a B line for the pet food aisle, and when he got there, he strolled down the aisle looking at the packages. The bountiful dog food had a picture of carrots, and other stuff on the packaging. He saw that, stopped dead in his tracks, and then climbed in the back of the shelf where he was hidden from view, broke open the package, and chowed down... WICKED SMART!

When the "alarm call" comes and they mass?!

I honestly thought that a falcon would swoop through the middle of the pack, pick one bird and kill it, and then get out of there with dinner. Quick hit and gone...

It was the falcon that got his butt kicked... every advantage was taken away from him by the sheer number of birds that were coming at him. One of the sentries posted at the edge of the territory spotted him, did the "call to mass" and about 1,000 birds showed up immediately in one large group. They came at him in such a way that he could not maneuver without twenty or more birds attacking him from behind and the sides...

It was fascinating stuff.

Last edited by Birdman666; 02-06-2015 at 01:45 PM.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 02-06-2015, 01:53 PM
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Re: banned in certain states

Grackles are very entertaining. Did you know we have 3 different species here in Texas? Common, great-tailed and boat-tailed. You'll only see the boat tailed on the coast.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 02-06-2015, 01:56 PM
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Re: banned in certain states

Quote: Originally Posted by thekarens View Post
Grackles are very entertaining. Did you know we have 3 different species here in Texas? Common, great-tailed and boat-tailed. You'll only see the boat tailed on the coast.
I honestly don't know anything about them other than what I've observed in the neighborhood.

A lot of people don't like them because they are so LOUD... but to me one of the happiest, and most relaxing sounds in the world are the Grackles settling in for the night, and talking to each other about what they did all day...

I LOVE THAT SOUND!!!

When I drive by Walmart on my way home at night, and 3,000 birds are settling in, I roll down my windows, and just listen to it. Lowers my blood pressure about ten points...
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 02-06-2015, 02:10 PM
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Re: banned in certain states

Quote: Originally Posted by Birdman666 View Post
So far, I haven't had any at my feeders, though I have seen a flock of them in a park across town...

It's certainly better than the idiots who have let their burmese pythons go in the everglades... with NO natural predators to keep them in check!
Heck in Michigan, It's not incommon to find someones pet snake (boa or Python) gotten loose. We had a crock/ or gator in the river once. Must have gotten to big for the owner and he let it go. Police had a hard time believing it till someone showed a phone cam pic of it, then cops went berserk as people tube down the river all the time. It ended up being a 4 foot one.

When Younger my brother and I Found this very large snake 6 1/2 to 7 feet long by the barn...We were always catching snakes so coming home, it was not uncommon for us to yell out ( Mom look at what we found under the log pile !!! ( Of course Grandpa would yell out " Is it a color TV dear?) My mom and dad took one look at it and called the DNR...Was one big snake! Middle as big as my leg in diameter.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 02-06-2015, 02:43 PM
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Re: banned in certain states

Someone let a large gater go in the duck pond in Golden Gate Park in SF once. It was a 6-8 footer...

It took them quite awhile to catch it but they finally did. Talk about a stupid, and reckless individual! Kids walk up to the edge of the duck pond and feed the ducks. Imagine what would have happened if a hungry gater just suddenly popped up and mistook a little kid for dinner?!

There was another idiot in Oakland who lost his PET COBRA once... no one took responsibility for that one. But it did pop up in a residential neighborhood and scared the hell out of a lot of folks. Fortunately they caught it before anyone was bitten. Not sure if local hospitals in the bay area carry Cobra anti-venom, or would be able to figure out what sort of snake it was and get some, prior to death... if it had bitten someone.

Then there was the idiot that thought a Manhattan apartment was the appropriate place to raise a lion cub...

IDIOTS! Line them up and slap some sense into them!!!
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:25 PM
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Re: banned in certain states

Quote: Originally Posted by critterman View Post
That is totally weird. What is the reasoning behind it? Must be some crazy person who doesn't like birds. Quakers are beautiful and wonderful little birds. What a crazy world.....
Even candy (Kinder joy) was banned for a while in the United States but now it's no longer illegal
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