SAN FRANCISCO
11/26/2012 04:49 pm ET

'Devil Birds' In San Francisco: Great Tailed Grackle Spotted At Lake Merced After Decades

Ever since Alfred Hitchcock's Bay Area-based film terrified the masses in 1963, some people just haven't felt right about birds.

And news of Lake Merced's recent residents probably won't alleviate the phobia.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the recent local appearance of the Great-tailed Grackle, also known by its nickname, the Devil Bird.

Though not actually possessing any demonic affiliation, the Great-tailed Grackle reportedly earns its nickname for its raucous call, aggressive behavior and tendency to eat eggs out of other birds' nests. (Rude!)

"The Devil Bird haunts the southwestern states, Mexico, and for reasons known only to Satan, Nova Scotia, Canada," joked the Believer in a 2004 article about the bird. "It feeds upon grain, garbage, insects, pecans, eyes of people who have wronged it, and nestlings of other birds."

The bird's lovely, but seemingly sinister appearance might not help the matter. The Great-tailed Grackle is known for its inky violet/black feathers, yellow eyes and dramatic cape-like tail.

"They are often vilified as devil birds," explained photographer and nature enthusiast David Cruz to the Chronicle. "It is a unique bird that many San Francisco residents have yet to see."

Indeed, sightings of the bird have not been reported in the city since the 1980s. But according to CBS, as many as six males and two females have been spotted at Lake Merced.

According to the Chronicle, which attributed the appearance to human-caused changes to the bird's habitat, the current Lake Merced population is unusually large for any area.

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