Fishie, I too have been dive bombed by the ungrateful grackles. I have been known to take a broom out to my garden for defense. The picture you took of them is perfect. I can hear the squawk coming out of them.
Interesting! Thanks for the ID. I'd been thinking some kind of kormorant. I'm south of Warner between Cooper and Gilbert Rd., so have the canal just to the east, and manmade lakes over at the Civic Center and residential areas to the north. We see a lot of great blue herons and a good size flock great white herons spent the afternoon over by Civic Center a few months ago. An egret cruised through winter before last which was really cool. Can't imagine ever having a backyard fish pond in these environs!
Crista, wow what a neck on that bird. It definitely looks like it was designed to swallow something big. Fishie, I imagine you wouldn't want to see that in your yard. Tinght I was walking through my garden and saw a cute little humming bird. He was resting on my clematis vine that finally decided to bloom. I think he was taking a rest from the crazy wind. Unfortunately, I din't have my camera.
I was at a wedding reception last week held in the back yard of a very nice home. A momma duck had her 4 babies swiming in the pool. The owners put a ramp in the pool for the babies. They would jump in...swim to the ramp and climb out and start all over. I can't imagine the poo factor though :(
I brought home some Indian Runner ducks for my mom a couple years ago. She had a peacock, but it ran away, so I thought the ducks might be good replacement. When I got them home, I let them loose in the backyard and my normally calm husband was MAD! Then the ducks jumped in the pool and started romancing. He was furious. I however laughed my but off.
The chemicals in pools are harmful to baby ducks! There is no food for them in there, so they have to be fed outside of the pool, but still go in the pool for water, which has chemicals. They poo in the water, so people put more chemicals in and this causes even more problems for the babies. When the babies are small, they are unable to get out of the water to get something to eat.
The key is to catch the Momma first, then go after the babies. Relocate them to a local park with a nice lake and they will do fine. Do not catch the babies and relocate them to a lake without their Momma, they will die. Even a large box, propped up on a stick (with a string tied to the stick), with cereal (cornflakes, cheerios, granola or popcorn, oatmeal) under the box will work. Set it up for a day or two, so that Momma gets used to going under there and eating, then spring the trap by yanking on the string. She will be trapped under the box, reach under it and grab her, then get the babies with the pool skimmer or put a lawn chair half in, half out of the water, so they can use it as a way to get out of the pond. Take the family to a local lake.
We had a couple of pairs of ducks hatch young at work several years back. It was wonderful for a few years watching the babies grow up, until they all decided to stay and not migrate. Any new plantings in the patios with grass & plants got gobbled up and stomped through, then during the spring the males started gang-raping the females in the duck-friendly patios (it's a one-story hospital, almost all the patient rooms look out on a patio)- it became a really messy mob scene. Then the groundskeepers kept getting attacked by ducks who were setting on nests when they got too near- got to be too much, that and the duck droppings all over the sidewalks. They became an unruly, ungrateful, unwelcome mob.
While in the Baltic, I noticed the crows in Sweden had a little grey area on the back of their head and shoulders; as we traveled to Finland, the grey area got bigger and in Russia it became a full blown saddle. Unfortunately, I couldn't get any of them to stay still long enough to get photos, but I did finally get one of a magpie, which I saw throughout the Baltic and they all looked the same; this one was in Copenhagen.
They are so fun to watch! We've had a flock at our feeders for a few years. It's been interesting watching them have new babies with such different colors. First there were the regular type, then a yellow one, then young ones with more yellow, then dilutes, then blue... We go through a lot of food feeding them but it's worth it. Frogy, I hope your pair sticks around and brings babies some time. We've had up to 30 at a time, and they started with an original trio.