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 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 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.