Friday, June 07, 2019

An Early Warning System Weekly Link Round-Up

Many many many moons ago when I bought and moved into this house, a large colony of great-tailed grackles lived in the top of the huge pine tree in the front yard. I quickly grew to appreciate them. The large, vainglorious males are a dazzling blue-black, and they love to strut around on the ground to show off. Something about them and their fierce eyes reminded me of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and horror movies in general, so I named the alpha male Vincent.

Male great-tailed grackle
These birds don't sing, they merely create a lot of ear-jangling noise, but that's one of the reasons why I liked them. Any time someone came onto the property that the grackles knew didn't belong there, they raised the alarm. As a result, I always knew when I had visitors; the grackles were my early warning system. And in case you're wondering, they didn't raise up a fuss whenever I was out and about.

The only thing I didn't like about them was the fact that their young ones were constantly falling out of their nests and splatting themselves on the concrete driveway. I may love reading crime fiction, but I do not enjoy scraping little corpses off anything! More than once I would look up into the tree and admonish them. "Build higher sides on your nests!" "Teach your kids not to fall out of bed!" (I must've entertained the neighbors a lot.)

But about eight years ago, a crow started making regular visits to the huge pine tree to eat the eggs and the fledglings of the grackles. The crow was just too big for the grackles to fight off. So the grackles moved away. They were gone for five years, but they've come back. I am so happy that we have our early warning system back-- even if none of them can carry a tune in a bucket. Hopefully, word won't spread to the crow community...

But I won't think of that now. It's time to mosey out to the corral. I might even be able to say hello to Vincent III. Head 'em up! Moooove 'em out!

►Books & Other Interesting Tidbits◄

►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄

►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
  • A French bulldog and his little human buddy cruise around the block in a remote-controlled toy Jeep. 
  • When it comes to waging war, ants and humans have a lot in common.
  • Escaped pet parrots are doing great in the wild. 
  • Why "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" trope isn't an exaggeration.
  • An enterprising Oregon man picks up local canine clients for daycare in a bright yellow doggie school bus.
  • A fawn sneaked into a family's backyard every day to cool off by swimming in their pool.
  • The smooth sounds of a snoring cat
  • Brazilian veterinarians fit a baby armadillo with a customized wheelchair for its paralyzed back legs.

►Fascinating Folk◄
  • Granville Coggs fought racism in the military as a Tuskegee airman.
  • Lily Parr, a pioneering English footballer, scores a bronze monument.
  • Barbara Neely, the activist-turned-crime writer who inspired a generation.

►The Happy Wanderer◄

►I ♥ Lists◄

That's all for this week! Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure.

Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!


  1. I'm so glad to hear the grackles are back, Cathy. I've always liked them, too. And crows can be bossy! We once had a pair that we nicknamed Harold and Maude. They used to wait on a nearby rooftop when we fed our two dogs. If the dogs didn't eat every bite of the food, the crows would swoop down on it. They knew what they wanted! Now, I've some shipwrecks to explore! And then a Roman fort!

    1. I think those in the know believe crows to be the smartest of all birds. They even know how to make their own tools.


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