Avian friends are returning. The Evening Grosbeak is a common spring and summer feeder bird in my yard; I have to remind myself that they have had population declines that are quite serious - and that I am fortunate that they are so regular here.
There have been several pairs, and they are wary, but not afraid, of using the sunflower feeder right outside the kitchen window, as is this female.
And yes ... the iridescence of the Common Grackle in fresh plumage is always arresting. Don't dismiss these birds just because they are black (they're not just black) or because they can't sing. And BTW, I did several columns last spring on blackbirds. Check the archives.