Eight reasons grackles are awesome (Texas Monthly). May I offer a ninth? They eat fire ants!
One of my favorite grackle experiences was on a little-used trail up near Granger Lake several years ago. For a few hundred yards the trail passed beneath a canopy of tall, tall trees filled with screaming grackles; it seemed like there were hundreds of thousands. They could have picked my bones clean.
I enjoyed the author's thoughts on mockingbirds, too - few things are funnier than seeing a businessman in a suit running in fear from a four-ounce bird. They're fierce little dudes, but they're not all that dangerous. I saw one attack an elderly saffron-robed Buddhist monk; he laughed about it like a little kid - it was glorious.