The grackles have returned to West Texas. Can anything be done to stop them?

Is war with the grackles inevitable, or can a peace be negotiated?
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 6:02 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - The grackles have returned, and this reporter once again found himself talking with Michael Nickell at the Sibley Nature Center about how to get rid of them.

“If you really wanted to get rid of the grackles, you’d get rid of all the trees,” Nickell said in a completely serious tone.

But that’s not possible. While they arrived late this year due to the warm weather, their numbers are larger than ever. Is it possible those numbers can be explained by something more nefarious?

“No,” Nickell said.

Nickell also says grackles are notorious nest and egg robbers, meaning they pose a threat to the young of other wildlife. He also hinted they could soon develop a taste for human babies.

“That would be kind of hard to lift,” Nickell said. “I don’t see that happening.”

But he does believe they’re evolving.

“I heard one grackle perfectly mimic the opening of Beethoven’s 5th,” he said.

And if they can mimic our music, they can mimic other tactics. The only solution might be to strike a deal.

“I don’t know what the grackles want,” Nickell said. “But they must want something.”