Boat-tailed Grackle

Quiscalus major

Image of Boat-tailed Grackles perched along a dock.

Image by ‘MrTinMD’ on Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Physical: Boat-tailed grackles are sturdy, medium-sized birds that resemble the hull of a boat because to their long, keel-shaped tail. Males are substantially larger than females, measuring around 15 to 18 inches (38 to 45 cm) in length compared to 11 to 14 inches (28 to 35 cm). The hue of the males is an all-over glossy black with an iridescent sheen that, depending on the lighting, can have a purple or green tint. Females have a more muted brown with a whiter underside, especially on the upperparts.

Habitat: This species frequently inhabits salt and freshwater marshes along coastlines. However, especially in the Southeast of the United States, they can also be seen in urban areas like parks and parking lots.

Feeding: The diet of boat-tailed grackles is diverse, consisting of grains, seeds, crustaceans, insects, and small fish. They may collect insects from plants, grab small fish from the water, or even scavenge for food in cities thanks to their adaptable foraging techniques.

Breeding: Wetlands are the boat-tailed grackle’s preferred breeding location. To ensure safety from predators, nests are frequently built in lush foliage adjacent to water. Normally, a female lays three to five eggs. It is well known that males are polygynous and frequently have numerous partners during the breeding season.

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