Great-tailed Grackle

Quiscalus mexicanus




Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Light gray to light blue with red purple markings

Number of Eggs:

3 - 4

Incubation Days:

13 - 14

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

5 - 15 feet above ground., In tree.

Nest Material:

Bark, sticks, weeds, and grass.


Some migrate



Great-tailed Grackle: Large blackbird with iridescent black body and purple sheen. Eyes are yellow. Tail is long and keeled. Female is smaller with shorter tail, brown upperparts, gray-brown underparts, and yellow-green eyes. Juvenile is similar to female but has dark eyes.

Range and Habitat

Great-tailed Grackle: Resident from central California, southern Idaho, Minnesota, and western Louisiana southward throughout Mexico. In summer, individuals can be seen farther north. Preferred habitats include open areas with scattered trees, cultivated areas, marshes, parks, and areas around human habitation.

Breeding and Nesting

Great-tailed Grackle: Three to four light blue to gray eggs with red purple markings are laid in a nest made of grass, bark, and weeds, and built in a palm or shade tree near water. Incubation ranges from 13 to 14 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Great-tailed Grackle: Feeds on insects, worms, small vertebrates (including tadpoles, small fish, and lizards), plant matter, and garbage. Forages while walking on the ground and wading in water; also steals food from other birds.

Readily Eats

Cracked Corn, Millet, Sunflower


Great-tailed Grackle: Call is a loud cacophony that includes clear whistles and rattling notes.

Similar Species

Great-tailed Grackle: Boat-tailed Grackle has a rounded crown and a darker eye. Common Grackle is smaller with a shorter tail.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X