Grackles Are Back!

Grackles are returning to North Texas along with cooler temperatures

By Kevin Cokely
|  Tuesday, Sep 14, 2010  |  Updated 11:22 PM CDT
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Crews in downtown <a title=Fort Worth are pulling out all the stops to chase off grackles." />

Kevin Cokely, NBCDFW.com

Crews in downtown Fort Worth are pulling out all the stops to chase off grackles.

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Don't look up. The grackles are back.

"We're expecting the next two to three weeks for it to get real ugly around here," said Rodney Beaman, the owner of Fort Worth Pest & Termite.

More than 80 percent of the birds migrate to North Texas from other parts of the country.

"It usually starts about mid-September," Beaman said. "It seems to be a little bit delayed right now, and I think the reason for that is all the warm temps, so we still haven't fallen into the fall weather."

In Fort Worth, the birds are attracted to the trees in downtown, he said.

"That's where the lights are, that's where the insects are, so that's where they're going to be attracted to," Beaman said.

His Arlington-based company has a contract from Downtown Fort Worth Inc. to rid Sundance Square of bothersome grackles and starlings. His workers use special, high-powered lasers to chase the birds away.

"It confuses their sensory organs, and so they learn quickly after two to four days not to come back to that particular set of trees," he said. "You have to be careful with them. They're a much more high-powered laser than what you would normally see. It's all about technique, it's all about skill. It's not just a matter of putting people out on the street with a laser and just going at it."

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