Common Grackle: Medium-sized blackbird with metallic purple sheen on back, head, neck, and breast. Eyes are bright yellow. Central feathers of long, rounded tail are often lowered to show keeled V-shape. Swift, strong direct flight with rapid wing beats, holds tail folded in a V shape while flying.
Range and Habitat
Common Grackle: Resident throughout Florida; breeds throughout North America east of the Rocky Mountains and south of tundra. Inhabits fields, wet meadows, urban areas, shorelines and willow shrublands up to the lower subalpine.
Adults sometimes function as helpers to other birds of the species.
Grackles actually walk instead of hop.
In coastal areas they forage at the tide line for small invertebrates, even wading into the water to capture live fish.
They allow ants to crawl on their bodies and secrete formic acid, possibly to rid themselves of parasites.
The Common Grackle breeds in open and semi-open areas of North America east of the Rocky Mountains. This species builds nests concealed in dense trees and shrubs near the water, and especially likes pine forests. These birds also nest in small colonies. During the winter months, northern populations of the Common Grackle migrate to the southeastern United States. This species forages for its food on the ground, and is omnivorous. They typically eat insects, minnow, frogs, eggs, berries, seeds and grain, and are considered pests by local farmers. The conservation rating for the Common Grackle is Least Concern.