COMMON GRACKLE (Quiscalus quiscula)
The Common grackle is about a foot long (30 cm) and has a long tail, which takes the shape of a boat keel sometimes when in flight. The bird’s head is iridescent, with blue being the dominant color. Common grackles gather in groups to search for food, which can vary from seeds, grain, insects, and small birds to garbage.
Because of their taste for grain such as corn and their propensity to gather in large numbers, they can cause serious damage to crops. Common grackles will readily eat seed under bird feeders rather than directly on the feeder itself. Their calls seem laborious and remind of some rusty squeaky old engine.
The common grackle is a year-round resident of Texas and the eastern half of the USA. Its breeding range includes the southern half of Canada except British Columbia, and the Great Plains.