Common Grackle

ID Info
Silhouette BlackbirdsBlackbirds

Common Grackle

Quiscalus quiscula
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Icteridae
Basic Description

Common Grackles are blackbirds that look like they've been slightly stretched. They're taller and longer tailed than a typical blackbird, with a longer, more tapered bill and glossy-iridescent bodies. Grackles walk around lawns and fields on their long legs or gather in noisy groups high in trees, typically evergreens. They eat many crops (notably corn) and nearly anything else as well, including garbage. In flight their long tails trail behind them, sometimes folded down the middle into a shallow V shape.

More ID Info
image of range map for Common GrackleRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

Find This Bird

Common Grackles are familiar inhabitants of wet, open woodland and marshes as well as in suburbs, parks, and agricultural fields. A good way to find them is to scan large flocks of blackbirds and starlings. The tallest, longest-tailed blackbirds you see will most likely be Common Grackles.

Other Names
  • Zanate Norteño (Spanish)
  • Quiscale bronzé (French)

Backyard Tips

This species often comes to bird feeders. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

During migration, set up bird feeders in your yard with a variety of mixed grain and seeds. Spreading grain or seed on the ground helps, as this is where Common Grackles prefer to feed – and if they come to the ground they may let smaller birds continue to use the feeders. Bear in mind that too much grain scattered on the ground can attract rodents, so it's best to sprinkle just as much as the birds are likely to eat at any one time.

  • Cool Facts