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half-dutch

Grackles fishing

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Last Thursday on a visit to my sister in Rock Rapids IA, we made a circuit through the Island Park there.  At the low dam just past the former railroad bridge which is now a walking path we saw a group of grackles fishing at the edge of the white water where it ran against the rocks at the shore line.  There probably were a dozen or so all told moving back and forth and some on the rocks at the other shore line.  In something like half an hour or less we saw various of the birds bring out minnows and eat them on the shore to a total of at least 8.  They also contested for the better fishing spots and tried to horn in on other birds' catches;   they would fly out to quite a bit up on shore with a catch to eat it there.

I never expected to see grackles fishing.  I never heard of that before, but then it wouldn't be the first time I didn't know about something relatively common.

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When I was a kid, we used to have a pond in our yard. We would keep fish and minnows in there. The grackles would clean in out! We had to resort to putting a cover over it.

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So this is not a new thing!  Interesting.  I keep finding more and more complex behavior in so many of these "dumb" animals!  So many of them are anything but dumb.

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