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.