The common grackle. I didn’t really notice them when I was young. This is most likely because they were just that: “common.” They were the bane of the birdfeeder–pushing out the little songbirds to gobble up a feast—and the forager of the fields–swooping down in a black cloud of a flock.
I didn’t really register that they did not exist in my West Coast home until I saw them when I returned to the Great Lakes this summer. As I watched them drink and bathe on a hot day, their glossy purple heads and bronzy-iridescent bodies reminded me of a magical time and the other common things I’d left behind–lightning bugs, summer rain, and best friends.