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Austin Attractions - Austin Things to Do

Grackles are always present in Austin. But during certain times of the year - such as fall - they're really present. They aren't exclusive to Austin, of course, but when you consider the quantity and volume of these birds, you might suspect that they are.

Austin Attractions - Grackles

Unlike Austin's beloved migratory Mexican Free-Tail Bats, which attract throngs of visitors and locals alike to view their nightly flight en masse from beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge, our grackles only seem to attract . . . well, more grackles.

Austin Things To Do - Grackles
So why give them their own page? No, they're not a true Austin attraction. But I feel they've earned inclusion nonetheless. They definitely command a certain level of respect, or at least notice.

If you've ever been around them at dusk in the fall in some area of Austin where there are plenty of trees, telephone wires, and/or good rooftop ledges, you will likely be forced to take notice. Whatever you want to call it--congregating, flocking, reenacting scenes from Alfred Hitchcock--when the grackles really get going, it's impossible to miss.

These creatures will never be described majestic. In fact, if you observe these birds for any length of time, you'll understand why the archetypal Trickster figure in many Native American myths so often take the form of crows or blackbirds.

Austin Texas Attractions - Grackles

What Austinite hasn't had at least one unpleasant encounter with the infamous grackle? Even if they were better behaved birds, their sheer number would still lead to the occasional "accident."

But these are intelligent creatures and, of course, they know exactly what they're doing when they target your head or your shoulder or your entree or your beverage of choice.

If you're going to dine or drink in any of Austin's fine patio areas, you should take as much care selecting your seat as if you were Wild Bill Hickok sitting down to play a hand or two of poker in the Dakota territory.

Never plant yourself under a wire or an exposed branch. Never park beneath a tree in any parking lot in Austin. Never assume that good karma or a pure heart will protect you from being shat upon from above.

Back in 2007, they even made national news when a large number of them were mysteriously discovered dead downtown one morning.

What's YOUR Most Memorable Grackle Encounter?

What's the worst thing a grackle has ever done to you, a loved one, your car, or your dinner or drink you were trying to enjoy while you were minding your own business out on the patio of your favorite eating or drinking establishment?

Help compile evidence against these rude, winged menaces by sharing your most memorable grackle story. Whether it happened in Austin or somewhere else, we want to hear about it.

Or are you a defender of grackles? Here's your chance to stick up for these squawkers and explain why you think the creatures are unfairly maligned.

Enter Your Title

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Austin Grackle on a Bench  starstarstarstarstar
I took this shot in Austin when I was on a Dodge Journey video shoot. We have Grackles in Michigan but not as many, and not as big. The Austin variety ...

Partial Albino Grackle  starstarstarstarstar
Photographed near Whole Foods Lamar Blvd at West 6th Street.

Curious Grackle  starstarstarstarstar
This guy loves to show off and make that hideous noise on my roof every year. See the rest of my critter photos here

Grackrobat - Grackles in Austin  starstarstarstarstar
I love the sounds they make, their blue-black feathers and the dance the males do under the trees in my front yard.

Grackles...One Woman's Observation   starstarstarstarstar
Grackles have become an army of one. Upon sunset they congregate and begin descending through the Austin sky, creating massive black clouds as they move ...

Living with Grackles - A Great Experience (Grackles at UT Austin)  starstarstarstarstar
I was living in F K ALLEN, a dormitory, when I attended the University of Texas at Austin in the early 1990s. It was a very big dorm and had its own zip ...

The Goose is Loose!  starstarstarstarstar
I've never been pooped on by a grackle, or by any bird for that matter. Although it's a wonder, since there were so many sea gulls when I lived in Washington ...

Grackle Poetic Justice  starstarstarstarstar

I swear this is true. About ten years ago I was downtown and walking through Republic Square Park. I had my hands in my pockets and I remember I had ...

Can a Grackle Do This?  Not rated yet
In India, we don't have grackles but we do have parrots.

Indian parrots are very well known for their trait of repeating human words. I had heard many ...

Hummingbirds and Cats  Not rated yet
I don't have any good grackle stories, but at one time, several years ago, we had a hummingbird feeder out on our porch. One of our old cats, Juliet, would ...

Ungrateful Sea Gulls  Not rated yet
I remember a time when I was younger that involved a SPLAT! And a sticky mess. I’ve never seen or been bothered by a grackle before, but I did have an ...

Outsmarted by Eagles and Crows  Not rated yet
This incident happened with me and my friend when we were out on an excursion trip to a small village, about 50km from our home town. We were out sight ...

Pigeons Are Worse Than Grackles  Not rated yet
I've had a number of memorable bird encounters, although nothing specifically involving grackles.

I live in a small town in New York State. Birds have ...

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