Boat-tailed Grackle: Large, black bird with a very long, keel-shaped tail. Male is iridescent blue-black with yellow or brown eyes. Black bill is slender and long. Legs and feet are gray. Forages walking on ground and wading in water. Strong direct flight with rapidly beating wings.
Range and Habitat
Boat-tailed Grackle: Rarely strays from coastal salt marshes except in Florida where it is also inland. It is found around ponds and streams (Florida peninsula), farmlands, towns and cities. Their range is expanding up the Atlantic coast.
Boat-tailed Grackles from different regions (East Coast, Florida, west of Florida to Louisiana and west of Louisiana) have different eye colors.The reason is unknown.
Fledglings that fall into the water can swim well for short distances, using their wings as paddles.
They have an unusual mating system. Females locate their nests in a cluster or colony. Males compete for the right to defend and mate with all the females. This is known as harem defense polygyny.
The Boat-tailed Grackle has a large range, estimated globally at 200,000 square kilometers. It is native to the United States and Canada and lives in Wetlands and Marine Coastal habitats, preferring saline areas. The global population of the bird is 3,700,000 individuals. The current population trends of the bird do not bring it near the population decline threshold that is used to determine qualification for inclusion to the IUCN Red List. Because of its population status, the Boat-tailed Grackle currently has an evaluation level of Least Concern.