Great-tailed Grackle: Large blackbird, iridescent black body and purple sheen. Yellow eyes. Long, keeled tail. Walks on ground, wades in water to forage. Eats snails, insects, frogs, shrimp, small fish and birds, eggs and young of other birds, fruits, berries, seeds and grains. Strong direct flight.
Range and Habitat
Great-tailed Grackle: Resident from California, Colorado, Kansas, and western Louisiana southward. Preferred habitats include open areas with scattered trees, cultivated areas, marshes, parks, and areas around human habitation.
The Great-tailed Grackle has been expanding its range in North America throughout the last century.
It took advantage of urbanization and irrigation to move northward from Mexico into much of western United States.
It and the Boat-tailed Grackle have at times been considered the same species. Current thinking is that they are closely related, but different species.
The Great-tailed Grackle has a large range, estimated globally at 5,000,000 square kilometers. Native to North and Central America, this bird prefers forest, grassland, and wetland ecosystems, though it sometimes lives in rural or urban areas. The population is estimated at 31,000,000 individuals globally and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. Because of current population trends, the evaluation level of the Great-tailed Grackle is Least Concern.