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What are grackles saying when they squawk, sing and shriek?

Addie Broyles
abroyles@statesman.com
A grackle at Cherrywood Coffeehouse on May 16. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Grackles either have the most annoying vocalizations or the most beautiful, depending on your perspective.

Even the female grackles make noise, which isn’t always the case across the bird kingdom, Travis Audubon Society volunteer Judith Bailey says.

Grackles have calls that mean, “Don’t come in here, I’ve got nesting birds,” Bailey says.

Some calls — “like chip, chip, chip,” she imitates — are saying “Where are you?”

“‘Chuck, chuck, chuck’ means ‘Someone is here.’ ‘Puff, puff, puff’ is an anxious call. They really do talk to each other,” she says.

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