Common Grackle

Common Grackle

Quiscalus Quiscula

     The Common Grackle, Quiscalus quiscula, is a large blackbird. The 32 cm long adults have a long dark bill, a pale yellowish eye, and a long tail; their plumage is an iridescent black. Adult females are slightly smaller and less glossy.

     Their breeding habitat is open and semi-open areas across North America east of the Rocky Mountains. The nest is a well-concealed cup in dense trees or shrubs, usually near water; sometimes, they will nest in cavities or in man-made structures. They often nest in colonies, some being quite large.

     This bird is a permanent resident in much of its range. Northern birds migrate in flocks to the southeastern United States.

      These birds forage on the ground, in shallow water or in shrubs; they will steal food from other birds. They are omnivorous, eating insects, minnows, frogs, eggs, berries, seeds and grain, even small birds.

      This bird’s song is particularly harsh, especially when a flock of these birds is calling.

     The range of this bird expanded west as forests were cleared. In some areas, they are now considered a pest by farmers because of their large numbers and fondness for grain

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For more information from the USGS (United States Geological Survey)
on the Common Grackle, click here.

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