This morning when I went out to feed our stray cat, I heard the most deep-throated and raucous "CAW!" sounds coming from up the street. I paused for a moment, thinking, "That sounds like a raven," but of course, there aren't ravens in Phoenix (they stay mostly up-state), so I assumed it was a northern-traveled mockingbird. The sounds continued, so I walked down the front path and saw, standing in a line on the top of the office building at the end of the block, a line of approximately seven HUGE black birds. I blinked a few times. Another CAW! and, one by one, they took off and flew out of sight.
I'm wearing my new glasses, so I can see at a distance now. These birds were enormous, even a block away. And only once before have I seen ravens in Phoenix (or rather, Tempe). No wonder people thought they were ominous.
Speaking of birds, the starlings have landed in Tempe. They used to pretty much flock only in the downtown Phoenix area, staying mostly around the I-17 area, but they've been spreading. The other day as I was leaving work, the grass around the Fountainhead Park office building was black with them (where the ducks used to be). Now the grackles have someone else to play with. :)