Saturday, April 25, 2009

25 Random Things: Grackle Guys

25 Random Things: I know so little about grackles, though I have always loved their name. Did you ever hear a grackle crackle in the garden? It's part of the language of birds.

They are not one of the more beautiful birds, more like a smaller, less aggressive crow, with a harsh bird call. They do like to groom themselves by rubbing bugs on their feathers – a practice called "anting" – to apply liquids such as formic acid secreted by the insects. (So they like all-natural grooming products, as do I.)

John Caddy recently posted a poem about the Grackle Guys, received in my mailbox from Morning Earth. He also took the photos here. Here is the poem:

The grackle guys are up for it again,
full well they know their power
in new warmth and spring light.
Each incredibly aware of other males,

aims his beak straight up into his private sky,
the sky he knows he owns.
Grackle girls don’t care
what a grackle guy believes or knows
as long as he is fit and beautiful
and dominant (with other guys).
Oh, and his feathers must be silken moss,

and oceans must surround his eyes.

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