The Cornell Lab of Ornithology web site is my go to place when trying to figure out who is visiting my yard. Just yesterday, they released Merlin, a bird identification app for smart phones. Since I receive an iPhone for Christmas (my phones have all been pretty dumb up ’till now), you know I had to download Merlin.

So I started with this bird…


I entered the following information:

  • Location: Milbridge, Maine
  • Date: January 6
  • Size: between a robin and a crow
  • Main colors: black
  • What was the bird doing: eater at a feeder


Now I’m pretty sure this is a Grackle, but it didn’t pop in the list of birds that might match my description. So I looked up the Grackle, read the description and then studied the map. Grackles don’t winter in these parts.

Nobody seems to have informed this Grackle that he should have headed south last month!