Holyoke’s spring arrivals: Grackles, mockingbirds a common sight downtown

After a winter full of juncos, starlings, and the downtown area’s resident hawks and falcons, last week’s record warm weather seems to have spurred the arrival of a few new feathered friends: grackles and mockingbirds.

Both birds have a year-round range that includes all of Massachusetts, and I did spot mockingbirds here and there over the winter — but now I’m seeing both species in numbers. The grackles, in particular, have been filling up Heritage State Park with their short, sometimes abrasive calls. They’re gorgeous birds, a little iridescent and colored like oil on wet pavement.

Below, photos I’ve shot over the past week, mostly in Heritage State Park and along the canal.

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