Grackle Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a grackle?
Common grackles are birds known for their iridescent black, purple, and metallic plumage coloration. They can be seen in large groups in a variety of habitats. The common grackle's diet mostly includes grains like corn and rice. They also eat seeds, acorns, fruits, sorghum, and oats.
What class of animal does a grackle belong to?
Grackle birds belong to the class Aves. The great-tailed grackles and the boat-tailed grackles are thought to be closely related but different species.
The common grackles are social blackbirds that live and forage in large flocks. During the breeding season too, the common grackles that are not incubating their eggs roost in flocks at night.
How many grackles are there in the world?
Grackle populations are stable and this species of birds face no concern of extinction currently. The grackle bird populations are estimated to be 73 million.
Where does a grackle live?
Grackles live in open areas with scattered trees, usually evergreen coniferous. These birds are well adapted to living around human habitation and also eat from feeders in gardens. Common grackles are found in orchards, agricultural fields, and swamps.
Grackle migration happens early in spring and late in fall in the north. Most common grackles migrate between the breeding season and wintering sites with mixed-species flocks.
What is a grackle's habitat?
Range and habitat differ among the various grackle species, although their general behavior of foraging, nesting, and roosting in large flocks remains the same.
Grackle migration also depends on the range of particular grackle species. All species of grackles can be found in orchards, fields, parks, forests, cemeteries, and garden feeders. Their adaptability to human-centric habitats has allowed common grackle populations to maintain stability through the years and expand their range. These birds are opportunistic feeders and eat a wide variety of things starting from seeds, fruits, grains, insects to scavenging on garbage.
When building nests, females choose the nest sites. Nests are usually made in high coniferous trees. Nest locations are mostly near a water body.
Who do grackles live with?
Common grackles are social birds even during the breeding season, at night, the non-breeding common grackles not incubating eggs, roost together.
Sometimes, roosts consist of thousands of birds, including other blackbirds like European starlings, brown-headed cowbirds, and red-winged blackbirds. The breeding grackle pairs often build their nest in colonies that may have around 200 nests.
How long does a grackle live?
Common grackles live for up to 22 years. Half of the population of this species does not reach adulthood.
How do they reproduce?
Common grackles are commonly monogamous. Pairs in flocks start coming together in early spring with courtship displays of males and females flying together.
A female grackle lays four to seven pale greenish eggs with dark brown marks. Grackle eggs hatch in 13 to 14 days and the juvenile grackle birds are ready to leave after around 16 days from hatching.
The young brown grackle birds have dark eyes and miss the iridescent feathers.
What is their conservation status?
Common grackles are a widespread species in North America. They are listed as a species of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List. Their population is estimated to be 97,000,000 individuals.
Grackle Fun Facts
What do great-tailed grackles look like?
Common grackles are blackbirds of medium size with black, glossy, iridescent plumage. Their heads, necks, and breasts have a shiny purple, blue, green coloration and the body is brassy bronze. They have long tails. Different species of grackles have varied colorations and tail shapes.
Their bills are long, sharp, and black, and they have yellow eyes.
How cute are they?
Grackles are wild birds and fight with other birds at feeders for food. These blackbirds look beautiful but cannot be called cute or cuddly.
How do they communicate?
A grackle bird call is particularly harsh, especially in a flock. Common grackles use grackle calls and body signals to communicate. Every common grackle sounds different from the other.
How big is a grackle?
A grackle that measures 11-13 in (28 -33 cm) in length is about twice smaller than a 26 in (66 cm) raven, the largest perching bird.
How fast can a grackle fly?
Common grackles can fly at the speed of 29.7-39 mph (47.8-62.7 kph).
How much does a grackle weigh?
The average weight of a grackle is 0.16–0.31 lb (72.5-14o.6 g).
What are the male and female names of the species?
Male and female grackles do not have any specific names.
What would you call a baby grackle?
A baby grackle is called a nestling or a fledgling.
What do they eat?
Most of the grackle's diet includes grains and seeds. However, during the breeding season, they eat insects, fish, rodents, and even small bats.
Adult birds sometimes snatch earthworms from robins. Grackles forage mostly on the ground.
Are they smart?
Grackles are smart birds. They can find food from many sources. According to research, these birds can also modify their behaviors depending on the situation.
Would they make a good pet?
No, grackles are wild birds and do their best in their natural habitat. In some places, it may be illegal to keep grackles.
Did you know...
Often considered pests, common grackles are sometimes killed to control their population.
Most grackles feed on the ground but sometimes the great-tailed grackles grab frogs and fishes from shallow water.
Types of grackle
Other than the common grackle, some other kinds of grackles are the great-tailed grackle, greater Antillean grackle, purple grackle, boat-tailed grackle slender-billed grackle, common grackle, Nicaraguan grackle, and the Carib grackle.
Grackles found in the Southeast, from North Carolina to Louisiana are also known as Florida grackles. They have a darker green coloration on the back of their body rather than the bronzy tone most common grackles have.
Purple grackles are a grackle species found along the Eastern seaboard. This species has purple plumage coloration under the belly and on the head and neck.
Boat-tailed grackles are seen in the southeastern states and eastern Texas. Great-tailed grackles inhabit southern Texas and Mexico.
Female great-tailed grackles or Mexican grackles are less glossy compared to males.
Do grackles kill other birds?
Common grackles are social birds, and sometimes they attack each other and birds of other species by pecking, biting, scratching. Adult common grackles eat eggs and nestlings from other bird’s nests. They also kill and eat adult sparrows.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our grackle coloring pages.