Last spring, Alain Lacoste noticed a common grackle was hanging around his backyard, and he says it was injured.

“What we noticed after a while when the flock was flying away, he was not taking off,” Lacoste said.

The bird was missing part of his leg, so Lacoste began feeding the blackbird and named him Buddy.

“I started feeding him peanuts and after the second day, Buddy started flying under the gazebo to join me,” he said.

Lacoste called the bird Buddy because it was his frequent visitor and companion and started spending so much time with him.

The retired pulp and paper worker said the two even play games together.

“We started throwing peanuts to other birds, grackles, and he started chasing other blackbirds away,” he said. “Sometimes we play hide and seek, too.”

Despite their strong bond, Lacoste is trying to distance himself from Buddy, but did see him this week.

“I fed him a little and hope to see him in the spring.”

Lacoste said he wants to make sure Buddy flies south for the winter with the rest of his flock.

However, Lacoste gets emotional when talking about his little Buddy, with hopes of seeing him again next year.