Today I saw the first grackles of the season. There were two of the yellow-eyed bullies on the dome feeder, seemingly daring any other birds to come near. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology says that the common grackle is a year-round resident in our area, but that's not been my experience. One day, they're just gone, though grackles aren't birds whose absence I generally notice. When the robins leave and the goldfinches lose their color, I'm aware that winter is on its way, and the first junco is always cause for quiet joy, but I can go for months without thinking of grackles. I'm not sure why this is, given that they're such handsome birds, and when they'e around, they tend to come in groups.
One of life's little mysteries.