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Common Grackle - BirdForum Opus

Photo by KC Foggin
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Quiscalus quiscula

Identification

Female
Photo by gophish
Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, September 2010

Male 27·2 cm (10¾in); female 26 cm (10¼ in). Smaller than American Crow

  • Bright eyes
  • Faint blue, green, or bronze iridescent hood
  • Long, heavy bill
  • Keel-shaped tail

Distribution

Subspecies versicolour
Photo by GarryKirsch
H.R. Frink Centre, Belleville, Ontario, April 2010

United States and Canada from Saskatchewan, Montana, eastern Idaho, eastern Utah, Colorado, eastern New Mexico, and Texas throughout the east.

Casual vagrant in the western United States.

Taxonomy

Photo © by Deerbird
Kentucky, USA, 8 April 2021

Subspecies

This is a polytypic species, consisting of three subspecies[1]:

  • Q. q. stonei:
  • Q. q. quiscula:
  • Q. q. versicolor:
  • Southern and south-eastern Canada east of Rocky Mountains to central and north-eastern US; winters to southern US

Habitat

Open and semi-open areas

Behaviour

Walks (rather than hops) along the ground using its bill to flip around leaf litter looking for food.

Breeding

The cup nest is placed in dense trees, near water. They nest alone or in small loose groups.

Diet

They are almost entirely carnivorous; prey consisting of insects, minnows, frogs, eggs and small birds. They have occasionally been observed eating berries, seeds, grain.

Vocalisation

Harsh, grating calls; sounding like a rusty gate.

Gallery

Click on photo for larger image

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved July 2016)
  3. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links


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