If seen from a distance, the "Common Grackle" appears to be all-black, yet his feathers consist of highly iridescent colors of blue, purple, green and bronze. To help shear through acorns, he has been given a special "tooth" on his palate.
The female grackle is smaller than her mate. She is paler all over with none of the "flash" of the male.
In flight, the "Common Grackle" tail looks like the keel of a boat.
The grackle breeds from northern Alberta, Central Ontario and Newfoundland, south to the Gulf Coast States east of the Rockies.
Calls or song.
Both sexes give off brief, harsh, creaky songs that sound like, "readle-eak". When alarmed, a sharp "chack".
Population and distribution.
The "Common Grackle" congregates in the thousands over farmlands, sometimes swooping down in a black cloud, to rip open cork husks, with their sharp beaks, to devour the ripening kernels. They also inhabit city parks and residential areas, making a nuisance of themselves by foraging through litter baskets and the like. They winter north to Kansas, the southern Great Lakes and New England.
The grackle builds a bulky stick nest lined with grass, which is placed in either a high tree or low bush. The female lays five pale blue eggs with black scrawls.