AUSTIN (KXAN) — There’s something going on with Austin’s unofficial bird.
Grackles, the black feathered birds that cover H-E-B parking lots across the capital city, are looking a little “rough these days.”
People have been asking Austin Parks and Recreation (PARD) why the birds are balding. The department said they’re not sick.
“They are molting — a natural process of re-growing new feathers!” PARD said in a fitting post on Twitter. “Before the new ones come in, the old ones have to fall out & that’s what’s happening RN.”
Feather loss is not the only thing making people turn their heads.
Grackle researcher Jessica Yorzinski with Texas A&M told KXAN earlier this year the birds can move each eye independently from the other one. She also said the birds linger in parking lots, because they are attracted to the lights at night.