Goronkin says that the developers of north Scottsdale's Kierland Commons planted numerous ficus trees along the streets of the outdoor mall, wanting to replicate the shady sidewalks of Mill Avenue.

"I'm hoping," Goronkin says, "the grackles and starlings go there."

Grackles soar in and out of Mill Avenue's mature ficus trees. Bombs away!
Jonathan McNamara
Grackles soar in and out of Mill Avenue's mature ficus trees. Bombs away!

Trouble is, there are grackles aplenty to infest both places.

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I go out of my way to feed the grackles and starlings. I am only just learning about starlings, but both grackles and starlings eat insects, LOTS of insects. Personally, I'd rather risk a little bird poop that can be wiped off, than a hundred mosquito bites.

Calling for the elimination of two species of birds in a city is just arrogant and stupid. Grackles makes the most lovely sounds, I've spent hours learning to copy their "chack" sound, and starlings learn to speak, mimic cell phones, and theme songs.

Killing highly intelligent creatures is wrong. Don't like the bird poop? Stay inside. There is nature outside.


I always knew Tempe was for the birds....


Make every other Wed skeet shooting night along Mill Ave. Toss a large object into the trees and when the birds take off fire away.

Stew up the remains to feed the homeless and make sure the hunters aim high so they don't take out any windows.

A lot more fun than netting and releasing.

Or they could dump the ficus trees, a tree I find particularly ugly in a desert environment.

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