The bird measures 28 to 34 cm (11 to 13 in) in length, span 36 to 46 cm (14 to 18 in) across the wings and weigh 74 to 142 g. The male,averaging 122 g is larger than the female, at an average of 94 g. Adults have a long, dark bill, pale yellowish eyes and a long tail; male feathers appear black with purple, green or blue iridescence on the head, and primarily bronze sheen in the body plumage. Beyond being smaller, the adult female is usually less iridescent, her tail is shorter and unlike the male, does not keel in flight. The female is brown with no purple or blue gloss whereas the juvenile is brown with dark brown eyes.
Habitat and Distribution
The Common Grackle ‘s breeding habitat is open and semi-open areas across North America east of the Rocky Mountains. This bird is a permanent resident in much of its range. Northern birds migrate in flocks to the southeastern United States.
It is omnivorous, eating insects, minnows, frogs, eggs, berries, seeds, grain and even small birds and mice. They forage on the ground, in shallow water or in shrubs and will steal food from other birds’ beaks.
The nest is a well-concealed cup in dense trees (particularly pine) or shrubs, usually near water; sometimes, the Common Grackle will nest in cavities or in man-made structures. It often nests in colonies, some being quite large. Bird houses are also a suitable nesting site. There are 4 to 7 eggs.
Calls and Songs
Songs vary from, year round Chewink Chewink to a breeding season Ooo whew,whew,whew,whew,whew call that gets faster and faster ending with a loud Crewhewwhew! It also sounds like a power line buzzing.