If the weather wasn't enough to let you know that spring and summer were on the way, there is one thing that will signify it for you.

And I'll be honest, it's one of the most annoying things you'll deal with all season.

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Those loud, obnoxious, travel in ridiculous packs black birds are back in the city.

I remember the first time I saw them. It was in Austin, and they were just STACKED along the power lines. The lines were completely covered by the birds. Squawking, chirping, screaming...then diving.

Oh, the diving. You'd see HUNDREDS of them just pop off that power line and dive down somewhere together. I wasn't sure if I was running from an attack of the birds or an attack of the inevitable droppings.

Either way, I just knew I didn't like them.

I've seen them starting to pop back up slowly but surely in Amarillo, and I've decided I finally want to know what they are.

They're known as Grackles, and they look possessed half the time.

As annoying as they can be, we shouldn't be so quick to dismiss them. They do a lot more than the things mentioned above...and we actually have a reason to be happy they're around.

Grackles are phenomenal at snatching up bugs and rodents, it's essentially their primary purpose. We all know the warmer weather brings out bug galore in the city, so as long as the birds are around, the bug issues won't be AS bad.

However, they are a MAJOR nuisance to farmers in the area growing corn. These birds LOVE themselves some corn. They'll travel in large flocks and eat any ripening corn and even corn sprouts. So while they're good for us in some ways, they can really hurt a farmer's crop.

With the warmer weather here, the Grackles will be around. They make all sorts of strange noises, and some can be entertaining as much as they are irritating. May as well try to enjoy it as much as possible.

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