Any BIRDERS or bird identifiers on the BB??

  1. I moved from down south to northern Virginia area a couple of weeks ago on a temporary travel assignment.
    I've really enjoyed the woodsy, hilly envoirment and cool days.

    I've been putting out seed for all the birds.
    Yesterday and today, I noticed some new ones.

    Six big black birds. They are larger than pigeons, taller (longer legs.)

    I mean these birds are huge compared to the normal size birds.
    Anyhow, I'm planning to trek over to Walmart and buy myself a pellet gun of some sort. Although they look like they might require something a little stronger... a .22 ?

    They attack the regular size birds when they are on the ground feeding. Stand on the little ones with both feet & peck them to death.
    Anyone got any idea what the name of these birds is?
    They are solid black, no blue or purplish tinge anywhere.

    They are running off all the pretty & colorful birds I have enjoyed watching.
  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   Shamrock
    Possibly a Grackle, they are mean dudes!!
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    Bought a book at the arboretum on Birds of California. Lots of fun looking them up. Hubby laughs at me.
    The flocks ofparrots and parrakeets that go to the palm trees are not native. They are fun too.
    Crows, pigeons, seaguls, and sparrows are most common, but MANY others come to my yard too. The beaches and mountain areas have a lot of birds. I left a hospital last Thursday morning and saw hawks, I think.

    Hope the previous is correct on the birds you have. I've only been to Virginia twice as a tourist when visiting D.C.
  5. by   passing thru
    All the grackles I have seen have the bluish tinged heads, some kinda purplished tinged.
    These are noisy too !!! Almost sound like ducks....
    We have grackles down south, they are a little larger than robins and blue jays...
    But, these birds are 3-4 times larger than a regular bird....
    They must be Super -Grackles !

    Any of you shooting them?
  6. by   Shamrock
    Geez, giant birds!! Wonder where Hitchcock is??
  7. by   oramar
    Are you sure it is not a member of the crow or raven family???
  8. by   nowplayingEDRN
    I'm thinking that is sounds like crows. Grackles aren't any bigger than normal birds and their worst offense is that they are PIGGIES!!
  9. by   passing thru
    I think you all may be right that they are crows.
    I don't know if I have ever seen a crow.
    These dang birds are nearly as large as hawks.
    If I find out from the locals what they are, Ill tell
    you all.
    I was seriously considering shooting them, there's
    no way I could miss.
    But there's only about 8 of them....I hope their #'s aren't being reduced by young boys with rifles.

    Do any of you shoot birds?
  10. by   natsfanrn
    I'm in NoVa and I'll wager these are crows. There's quite a few around here and they can be nasty. If you've only got about 8, consider yourself fortunate; there can be hundreds or more in a roost. Don't know what part of NoVa you're in, but I wouldn't go shooting at them...local law enforcement tends to not like that too much

    As for the cool days, don't get too used to it. This has been a VERY unusual and muggy are more like it (kinda like today, but without the breeze and about 10-15 degrees warmer)You're right, though, the mountains and woods are, indeed, beautiful around here.
  11. by   Shamrock
    We grow BIG Grackles around here!. But, they are probably crows. I know Red-winged Black-birds make a good pie.
  12. by   oramar
    Here is what my Field guide to Birds of North America says about these large black birds. First the Common Raven...Common only in the far north and in the West. Rare and local in the Appalachians. It can be mistaken for a hawk. The heavy bill and the wedge shape of the tail are diagnostic. It flaps less and soars more than crows and is more of a carion feeder. It's call is a low hoarse croak. Lenght 21" Next the Common Crow...Well known and easily recognized it is abundant in the East and locally in the West except in very dry areas. Told from a distant hawk by it's frequent steady flapping. Seldom glides more than 2 or 3 seconds except in strong updrafts or when descending. Barely smaller than Red shouldered Hawk. Lenght 17" There are some other birds in this family like the white necked raven which is found only in southern Texas and Mexico. Two other types of crows are found only in coastal areas because they eat fish. The Fish crow is found along easter coast of US and sometimes in Gulf. The Northwestern crow is found along northwestern coast of US and Canada.
  13. by   Shamrock
    Good info Oramar!! Now I think they are turkeys!! Just kidding.
  14. by   passing thru
    Oramar ! You are amazing ! Thanks a lot !

    I think they must be the Common Ravens. I did notice they don't flap much....they swoop down from the trees, and sorta glide from the treetops to the lower branches, contributes to their menacing look....

    And not much flapping going on when they leave the ground either.
    I've been feeding them dry dog food and they slurp it up....the smaller birds like the dry cat food and bird seed.

    I think they just might be ravens....they are definitely into creating their own carion re: the smaller birds.

    I'll double check for the wedged-tail today....and stop at the library for a look. I'm sure the beak fits the description.

    I never read Edgar A llen Poe's "The Raven", but wasn't it
    an ominous read ? Was there really a scary bird or was the raven a metaphor?

    Anyone know?

    Hope this topic isn't boring you all senseless !

    It is just real curious to me that after traveling and living all over the country and always feeding the critters and birds,

    I find myself in a bucolic area with huge black feathered
    attackers/murderers in the back yard.