I generally think of birds as flying rats. Some people attract them with feeders and go on trips just to look at birds wondrously through binoculars, but to me, they’re just another annoying critter that pecks at dead squirrels in the street and makes too much noise outside my window in the morning.

So don’t put me down as some environmental kook who loves nature. I’m an urban guy who feels uncomfortable without concrete under my feet. Hawks making lazy circles in the sky make me nervous.

Which brings us to the grackle problem in downtown Fort Worth. Evidently, these pesky birds that move into Cowtown every winter have become the city’s number-one problem. Bird crap everywhere and screeching noises. Did I mention bird crap?

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