by Alex A. Kecskes
In pairs of one or two, grackles can be entertaining to watch and fun to feed. But they often arrive in flocks of hundreds, even thousands, occupying trees and large bushes, making quite a racket and leaving a huge mess in droppings.
Grackles are blackbirds with iridescent purple-blue feathers on the back, neck and head. They have black legs and heads, yellow eyes, and a long tail. They’re not exactly small birds, either, measuring up to 13 inches in length with an 18-inch wingspan.
Most grackles are usually found in open or urban areas, in orchards and savannas, as well as suburban and agricultural settings. They prefer to gather in scattered trees. Grackles will eat insects, small fish, mice, small bats, seeds, grains, acorns, and some fruits. So if you have a fruit tree on your property, a flock of grackles can consume or destroy your fruit in a very short time. All the more reason to use some proven bird deterrent methods to discourage them.
That doesn’t mean resorting to firecrackers, pellet guns, even poisons, for these are simply temporary measures that won’t achieve the long-term results you need to keep them away from your property. Not to mention the fact that poisons and pellet guns are inhumane and dangerous to pets and children. Fortunately, there are several effective and humane bird deterrents you use.
Sonic Bird Deterrents Encourage Birds to Leave
Grackles, like most birds, are easily alarmed. But unless you plan on banging pots 24/7, the birds will come back minutes after you leave. One solution to this problem is to install a Sonic Bird Deterrent. This device will broadcast distress calls of other grackles as well as the predator calls of a grackle’s natural enemy—hawks or falcons—day and night until grackles get the message that your property is unsafe for them. By the way, don’t bother with ultrasonic deterrent devices. These only irritate pets and birds can't hear them.
Reflective Eye Diverters Scare Birds
These things are classified as visual bird deterrents and can be very effective against grackles when you hang them in trees and large bushes. They will scare pest birds away from trees, patios, gardens, and other areas of your property. Each diverter features a large “mock” predator eye on its shiny reflective surface. Grackles take one look and they become convinced that a big predator is sizing them up for a meal. Result: they head off to someone else’s property.
Hawk Decoys Deter Birds
Most birds fear the sight of hawks, which is why Hawk Decoys can be so effective against grackles. Strategically placed in trees and other lofty structures, Hawk Decoys can convince grackles that your property is too dangerous to occupy. The best decoys are made of heavy-duty plastic to remain realistic looking for years outdoors. For best results, move the decoy around often to convince grackles that your hawk is real.