Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Aaron!
You might think your grackle/starling/squirrel problem isn't so bad after reading this article about Starlings in Rome. Bee sure the check out the multimedia show--the photos are intense! At one point, the starlings almost form what looks like an upside stork.
They should probably turn that into a tourist attraction...I'd pay to see a few hundred thousand starlings. Speaking of which, yesterday I gave a small presentation with Explore Minnesota at a conference for Minnesota Bed and Breakfast Association. We were talking about heron and egret rookeries and some of the newer ones popping up around that state. One of the ladies was complaining about how sad it was that egrets nested on a little island on a lake in a city park. She felt they destroyed the park--egret and heron droppings at rookeries can kill of trees. I told her that I would much rather visit her town to look at several large white elegant birds and a tree covered island. She seemed skeptical, but after we gave our presentation about the value of birding, how much birders spend on a trip, she might be changing her mind.
It's interesting to me how birds can be perceived. I can totally see how a bunch of birds killing off vegetation can be perceive as "not good" but I would think that with prettier birds like egrets, you might think--"huh, would people like to come see that? Could we hold bird photography/digiscoping workshops with this?"