Boat-tailed grackle – Male

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Project Description

Boat-tailed Grackle

Quiscalus major

Range/Geographical Distribution: Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Connecticut south to central Texas.

Habitat: Along the coast and saltmarshes 

Similar Species:  Fish crow. 

Description:  A large blackbird with a long, ample tail. Males are an iridescent blue/black with yellow or brown eyes, black legs, and a black bill.  Females are smaller than males and are brown with a pale brownish breast. 

Size: Length: 10-15” Wingspan:  15-20” Weight: 90-240g

Food: Extreme omnivores; eat seeds, amphibians, crustaceans, reptiles, and even scavenge trash.

Breeding:  Nest in fresh and brackish water marshes where they lay up to eight light blue spotted eggs in a shallow platform of grasses and mud.

Predators:  Often use humans for predator protection but still fall prey to yellow rat snakes, rats, alligators, and purple gallinules.

Conservation Status: The boat-tailed grackle is listed as least concern by IUCN but they are at risk from coastal development.

Interesting Facts:  If fledgling boat-tailed grackles fall into the water they can swim for short distances using their wings as paddles.

On the Coast:  Boat-tailed grackles often form flocks on Georgia’s coast.  These birds take advantage of human populated areas for food and protection from predators.

Project Details


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