I have a lot of your"somethings" around my yard also. I thought they were crows from a distance but after closer inspection; I see they aren't but not sure what they are. ???
The grackles come every year to my yard and make nests in the pines. They are wonderful at pulling up Japanese beetle grubs and eating them. I love to see them marching acrss the lawn and pecking at the sod. For several years their numbers had dwindled, but this year brought more to the yard. They'll also eat from bird feeders. (I found out what they were many years ago when I lived in Roanoke County—a few died in my yard because the lawn-maniac next door had his lawn treated for grubs. The grackles ate the poisoned grubs.) Oddly, my cats never bother the grackles. I guess they know when they're out-numbered.
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