Grackles are a lot cooler than I thought.

So this happened last night:
 

Beautiful girlfriend and I were eating dinner on a restaurant patio. The restaurant had recently secured its waste disposal against birds, which had done nothing to reduce the number of birds trying to get an easy meal. Instead, it just made the birds stare at diners even more intensely with their just-this-side-of-reptilian eyes. 

We were next to the parking lot and, as fate would have it, so were a couple of grackles. One of them was a fine specimen, with deep purple-black feathers reflecting a spectrum that suggested he had enough oil in his diet. The other one was in worse shape. He had a badly maimed foot that couldn't bear any weight. He didn't seem to be getting his share of the leftover morsels and it was starting to take a toll on him. 

Beautiful girlfriend, being beautiful in all possible definitions of the word, tossed a few chips out into the parking lot to distract the bigger bird. She then tossed some to the maimed grackle. Strangely enough, the wounded bird ignored her offering and, loudly (as if grackles did things any other way), followed the larger bird. 

This frustrating dance went on for a short while until beautiful girlfriend stopped tossing and just watched. I wish I had video evidence of what happened next because it was one of the most goddamn wonderful things I've ever seen. The bigger grackle picked up a piece of chip in his beak and stood patiently while the bird with the bum leg took it from him. 

For no obvious reason, the healthy bird just sat there, picking up chips, and feeding his wounded...friend? I don't know how else to describe it. Maybe they were related, maybe they were a nesting pair, maybe they were just friends. Regardless, it was unexpected and surprisingly touching to see.

I'm not a big fan of bird in general, but after seeing those two last night? I think I need to reconsider.

 

Like I said, I wish I'd thought to take some video or at least a picture. This is pretty much what it looked like, though.

Like I said, I wish I'd thought to take some video or at least a picture. This is pretty much what it looked like, though.