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Grackles Hassle Houston Senior Living Center

Small, loud black birds called grackles have made a senior living home in Houston, Texas practically unlivable.

“It’s very raucous and loud,” said 81-year-old Rebecca Sealy. “It looks like snow. That’s bird poop. … It just kept getting worse and worse. … The day after I took [my car] for a $20 car wash and the next morning found it was completely covered, that’s when I lost it!”

The seniors had had enough. The grackles covered the roof, pooped all around the property and squawked at all hours of the night.

“We’re trying to relocate the birds,” said Sealy’s friend, Betty Frazier.

A company called Fal-Tech was called in to eradicate some of the birds and force the others out of the area. Falcons attack and kill birds like grackles. Fal-Tech’s Roger Crandall brought in four birds to move the grackles as soon as possible. He says the main problem is that the birds feel they are safe where they’re nesting-which just encourages them to stay, and to bring others. The falcon attacks will disrupt the grackles’ feeling of safety and drive the remaining birds out.

“We want them to retire somewhere else,” Frazier said, smiling at the pun.

Houston’s grackle problem is nothing new. Two years ago the city faced a similar situation, and employed the same methods to drive them away. A commenter on the ABC News story said,

“They’re tough to get rid of. Thirty-five years ago, couldn’t get rid of them with a shotgun. The falcons sound like a great solution. Hopefully they don’t relocate in my neighborhood.”

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