The Great-tailed Grackle is a large blackbird with yellowish eyes, a very long, keeled tail and a long, dark bill.
Males are larger and have dark iridescent blue heads and purplish-black bodies.
FemaleFemales are smaller and mostly brownish, with blackish wings.
Seasonal change in appearanceNone.
JuvenileJuveniles are similar to adult females.
HabitatGreat-tailed Grackles are found in parks, towns farms, and fields, often near water.
DietGreat-tailed Grackles eat a widely varied diet, including insects, snails, lizards, eggs, seeds, and berries.
BehaviorGreat-tailed Grackles forage on the ground or in shallow water, as well as in trees or shrubs. They are usually seen in flocks.
Great-tailed Grackles occur in roughly the southwestern fourth of the country, south to South America. Their range has expanded northward in recent decades, and the population appears to be stable to increasing.
Bent Life History
Visit the Bent Life History for extensive additional information on the Great-tailed Grackle.
Fun FactsThese gregarious and noisy birds often roost in city parks, moving out to forage in surrounding areas during the day.
VocalizationsA wide variety of vocalizations are made, some compared to the sounds made by ripping sheets or flushing toilets.
The nest is a bulky cup of weeds, grass, and bark, lined with mud or dung and fine materials or feathers. Great-tailed Grackles nest in colonies.
EggsNumber: Usually lay 3-4 eggs.
Color: Pale blue to brown with darker markings.
Incubation and fledging:
The young hatch at about 13-14 days, and leave the nest in another 12-14 days, though continuing to associate with the adults for some time.