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Great-tailed Grackle (Male) in Mexico.

Great-tailed Grackle (Male) in Mexico.

The Great-tailed Grackle or Mexican Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) is a medium-sized, highly social passerine bird native to North and South America. A member of the family Icteridae, it is one of ten extant species of grackle and is closely related to the Boat-tailed Grackle and the Slender-billed Grackle. It is sometimes erroneously referred to as a “blackbird” in the southern United States, although blackbirds belong to the genus Euphagus. Similarly, it is often called “cuervo” in areas of Mexico owing to its glossy black plumage, although it is not a member of the genus Corvus, nor even of the family Corvidae.

Great-tailed Grackle (Female) in Mexico.

A Great-tailed Grackle (Female) having lunch at a restaurant in Mexico.

Great-tailed Grackles are medium-sized birds (larger than starlings and smaller than crows; 15 inches -18 inches. Males are iridescent black with a purple-blue sheen on the feathers of the head and upper body, while females are brown with darker wings and tail. Adults of both sexes have bright yellow eyes. [Wikipedia]

Great-tailed Grackle (Male) in Mexico.

Great-tailed Grackle (Male) in Mexico.

Great-tailed Grackle Facts [All About Birds]

  • The Great-tailed and Boat-tailed grackles have at times been considered the same species. Current thinking is that they are closely related, but different species.
  • In 1900 the northern edge of the Great-tailed Grackle’s range barely reached southern Texas. Since the 1960s they’ve followed the spread of irrigated agriculture and urban development into the Great Plains and West, and today are one of North America’s fastest-expanding species.
  • Because they’re smaller and require less food, female Great-tailed Grackle chicks are more likely than their brothers to survive to fledging. Likewise, adult females may outlive males, resulting in a “sex-biased” population with greater numbers of females than males.
  • The oldest recorded Great-tailed Grackle based on banding records lived in Texas and was at least 7 years, 9 months old.
Great-tailed Grackle (Male) in Mexico.

Great-tailed Grackle (Male) in Mexico.


10 comments on “Great-tailed Grackle

  1. Arkenaten says:

    That is an impressive looking bird!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jet Eliot says:

    Wonderful photos of the great-tailed grackle highlighting that indeed great tail and the iridescence and shine. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for visiting, commenting and following.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I like watching grackles when I visit family in the US. They’re fascinating birds with character and attitude. The sheen and gloss of the males is stunning, the females are equally attractive in soft brown shades. In the UK the closest we have to grackles in appearance are crows, ravens, rooks and magpies. Grackles were the first “different from UK birds” I noticed in the US and on subsequent visits I always enjoy seeing them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for visiting my blog and also for taking the time to comment. What are some of the “different from US birds” you have in your area?


      1. We don’t have mocking birds or fabulous red northern cardinals or blue jays. Our robins are much smaller and neater – I think of American robins as being like our European blackbirds in fancy dress! Our blackbirds are all black (male) or brown (female) – similar to your red-winged blackbirds but without the stunning flash of red.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Damon says:

    They are cool birds. I’ve had many fun encounters with them 🙂


    1. Yea? That’s interesting. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

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