HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM) – They’ve caused problems at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and taken over shopping centers in Fort Worth, but this week another Texas city is dealing with a grackle issue.

Thousands of the blackbirds in Houston basically took over an area around a Kroger grocery store. Flocks of the birds were flying and resting on power lines, in the parking lot, and on cars.

Swarms of grackles are not an uncommon sight or sound in many Texas cities. In Houston they pop up by the thousands and go viral around this time of year.

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

So, why are grackles attracted to parking lots? According to the Houston Audubon, “Great-tailed grackles are a permanent sight in Houston and can be found in any area inhabited by humans that has some trees. They tend to congregate in large flocks and prefer shopping centers and fast-food store parking lots where there’s trash for food and trees or light posts for perching.”

Here in North Texas cities have fired cannons, creating a boom that scares the birds, brought in trained hawks and pointed laser beams to confuse and deter the birds.

Some might suggest a more aggressive approach to getting rid of the game, but they are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.