I admit I haven't written much or read up much on Common Grackles, other than being able to answer customers questions on how to keep them off birdfeeders. Though they are beautiful birds to look at with their shiny iridescence, they aren't much desired at feeders by many birdfeeding enthusiasts.
Maybe it's because of their size - their 1-foot length and 17" wingspan dwarf our favorite feeder birds. Maybe it's their "mob mentality", showing up almost always in groups that when combined with their size, makes them a formidable group, taking up lots of space on the feeders and leaving little room for other birds. And when they show up in these groups, these big birds can consume a lot of seed and suet!
I also haven't posted much on grackles because frankly I don't see many of them in my yard. Maybe I'll have a few pass through during spring migration and again during fall migration, but nothing to "ruffle my feathers" so to speak.
In late summer, grackles start forming flocks to migrate out of our area. They don't migrate far; they winter all across southern New York and throughout the eastern states, midwest, southeast, and mid-south. The fact that they migrate offers some solace to those in our area who complain about grackles at their birdfeeders: "Don't worry, this too shall pass. They'll be migrating soon."
Over the last week or so, I've had more grackles in my yard than any other fall migration. Something like 40 of them have been in the yard. They've been mostly on the ground, but a few on the larger hopper-type feeders. As the flock has grown and they've become more accustomed to the yard, they've been trying to eat from feeders that are a little tougher for them to negotiate, like the suet log and the seed tube. They're not the strongest clingers, so hanging on to the side of the suet log requires some effort, and their larger size makes it just a bit tougher to sit on a small tube feeder perch and to reach into the portal.
If I wanted to deter them, I could fill the hopper feeders with safflower seed, which they don't care for much. I could put suet cakes out in an upside-down style feeder - they would have a hard time clinging upside down to access the suet, whereas woodpeckers, chickadees, and the like would have no trouble. Or if I really wanted to clear them out, I could just take my feeders down for a few days (a good time for a fall feeder cleaning?) and let them move on.
I'm not taking any of these actions though. Sure, there are lots of them, but their presence has given me the opportunity to watch them more, admire their perhaps underappreciated beauty, see their kids, and learn more about them. Maybe it's easier for me to welcome them into my yard knowing that they aren't here for the long haul, but who am I to anoint a species with the "bad bird" label? I'll "deal with the grackles" by just letting them be grackles.