"More Than Just Spectators"

Great-tailed Grackles

great-tailed grackle       The Huntsman World Senior Games is a big event for St. George. The streets stay full of people and there is an atmosphere of excitement all around. I participated in the games this year. What a grand experience. I met fellow competitors from around the world. I felt a comradery with the athletes. We had things in common like twisted knees, ankles, shoulders, fingers, wrists, noses, backs, sore ribs, sore feet, and sore bodies . . . but even so, everyone was having a good time. Such good times that Great-tailed Grackles had to be a part if it.

       At the Games, Great-tailed Grackles were coursing through the air and hop-running through the playing fields as the men and women were actively throwing and hitting softballs, and golf balls. When the male Grackles flew through the sky, they looked like lumbering, old time bombers of the 2nd World War. Male Grackles, with their full extended tails are so striking on the ground. In the sunlight, their shades of black, purple, and blue constantly shift colors with each twist or turn. The males were preening, trying to establish their position as to the ‘order of things’ in the Grackle world. We try to keep food in our car as we travel around, to feed these opportunistic birds of the parking lots. Grackles love nuts, whole-wheat bread, seeds, etc.

       Twenty-five years ago there were no Grackles in this area. Now their many familiar songs and sounds are heard daily throughout southern Utah. Even the Grackles are attracted to our wonderful climate! I love to hear their songs and call myself fortunate whenever I do.

       For information about Grackles, birds, or Red Cliffs Audubon monthly activities, call 435 673-0996. Thanks again to Brenda Rusnell, our artist for this week.