About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Why blackbirds are a sign of impending bad luck

Why are birds with black plumage the subject of so many unpleasant stories and superstitions all over the world?

The only conclusion that I can come to is because a lot of these black colored birds are clever enough to out smart people. Crows, Grackles, and Starlings are very intelligent birds and tend to work together in family groups to get what they want and what they want is a lot of food generally.

When they go after birdseed we’ve designated for Cardinals only there is always a problem. They can empty a feeder in a day and a suet feeder in minutes. But that doesn’t mean they are any less deserving.

I wonder if they were brilliant red or indigo blue if they would be more loved or excused of their “bad habits"? Most of the black colored birds aren’t beautiful songster either, but they can learn to imitate human speech. Although that didn't help the image of the bird in Edgar Allen Poe's poem "The Raven".

Most blackbirds are also good scavengers and clean up many road kills or garbage littering the roads. In the fall you can watch them gather in large roosts. This sometimes includes millions of birds that blanket groups of trees or fly in intricate patterns across the sky.

Now that Halloween is approaching let's look again at our black feathered friends and see if we can find something nice to say about the much maligned black birds.

Related Articles:
Myths surrounding owls http://goo.gl/A8lL3w
The origin of pumpkins and Jack O'Lanterns http://goo.gl/vH4FqL
Share the fall harvest with the birds http://goo.gl/0CMJr8
Photo Share: Mother Nature's clean up crew http://goo.gl/9RQnEG