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Friday, April 06, 2018

Friday's Foto

The Common Grackle is a medium-sized, lanky songbird of the "Blackbird and Oriole family". This widespread resident east of the Rockies in southern Canada and the United States has been expanding its range westward in recent decades. It is one of three grackle species found in North America, the other two being Boat-tailed and Great-tailed. Adult males are entirely black with conspicuous iridescence when seen in good light. The widespread form shows bronze gloss to body, blue head, and purple or blue iridescence on wings and tail. The iridescence of the head is different from that of the body. Females are smaller and duller. There are three recognized subspecies. The bronzed grackle is found northwest of the Appalachians and has bronze iridescence on body, a blue head, and purplish tail and wings. The purple grackle is found southeast of the Appalachians and has a purplish body and head, with a blue or greenish glossed tail. The Florida grackle, which ranges from Florida to southern Louisiana and South Carolina, has a greenish iridescence on its back.

This omnivore feeds mainly on insects, but also crayfish, frogs, lizards, minnows, eggs and young of other birds and small rodents. During the winter their diet includes acorns, berries, seeds and waste grain.

The Common Grackle’s conservation status according to the IUCN Red List is “Least Concern”. While abundant and widespread, however, populations declined by almost 2% per year between 1966 and 2014, resulting in a cumulative decline of 58%, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. The 2014 State of the Birds Report lists them as a Common Bird in Steep Decline.

Their scientific name, Quiscalus quiscula, means Purple Grackle.

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