Saturday, March 12
With hoodlum deeds and vulgar words,
They're taller and longer tailed than a typical blackbird, with a longer, more tapered bill and glossy-iridescent bodies.
Large (11 to 13 inches)
A staring black pupil is centered in a bright yellow iris.
In flight their long tails trail behind them, sometimes folded down the middle into a shallow V shape.
Female Grackles are a bit smaller in size, and a shorter tail.
Abundant throughout North America east of a general line from New Mexico to northern British Columbia
They live in large nests with the bottom lined with mud, grass and animal hair.
Nests are between six and sixty feet high on branches preferably in coniferous trees, although not picky and sometimes in tree hollows and abandoned cavities, often near or over water.
The nests are built by the females.
The female lays 1 to 7 eggs. The color of the egg ranges from white, light blue, pearl gray to dark brown
Eggs incubate for 12 to 14 days.
The young leave the nest 12 to 15 days after hatching though they remain near the nest for the next 1 to 2 days. The adults continue to feed the young.
Grackles defend their nests fiercely by mobbing, chasing or diving at predators including humans.
In winter, they join large flocks of mixed species such as European Starlings and Red-winged Blackbirds. These flocks can exceed one million birds.
They eat many crops (notably corn) and nearly anything else as well.