Behold, thousands of grackles descending on a Kroger parking lot

Illustration for article titled Behold, thousands of grackles descending on a Kroger parking lot
Photo: ca2hill (iStock)

Grackles are one of the most rapidly expanding species in North America, which is amazing for a nascent birder such as myself who can’t get enough of their beady yellow eyes and no-fucks-given attitude. Know who’s had enough of grackles, though? This woman:

That’s right, North Texas: It’s grackle season once again! Hundreds of thousands of birds are currently on their way back up north, with many choosing to make a pit stop in Houston to see the sights and maybe poop on some cars. This video, taken by KHOU reporter Brett Buffington, shows thousands of grackles swarming a Kroger parking lot, trapping fearful shoppers in their cars while one brave unidentified woman makes a break for it. Grackles tend to like parking lots, particularly those of supermarkets and fast food restaurants, as food is plentiful.


The Houston Audubon Society warns that grackles are fiercely protective of their children and will defend their nests by any means necessary: dive bombing predators; chasing them into traffic; sometimes organizing into an angry mob that will destroy a perceived threat and, if the opportunity arises, steal their lunch. If they’ve decided to turn your local supermarket into an avian Melrose Place, good luck stopping them from cranking out bird babies left and right. Perhaps you should wear some sort of bird costume to the supermarket for the next few weeks to blend in. Not too sexy, though, because you know how grackles get when they’re on vacation and all hopped up on candy wrappers.

Allison Robicelli is a writer, recipe czar, former professional chef, author of four (quite good) books, and The People's Hot Pocket Princess. Tweet me for recipe help: @Robicellis.



Not sure if these are what we call a Starling up here in Wisconsin? The Starling was one of my late Grandfathers greatest enemy’s as they messed up his bird feeders and chased away the smaller birds. He took to shooting them with a Pellet gun until the the local police stopped by and said “Norman, you can’t be shooting starlings in your front yard. The neighbors are complaining. Don’t you have a fenced in back yard?” Grandpa took the hint and made the back yard the place where many a Starling med their end.

When Grandpa passed I made sure he was buried under a tree I could put a feeder in with a small sign on the side that says “No Starlings Allowed”