BIRD OF THE WEEK — COMMON GRACKLE — PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD group

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BIRD OF THE WEEK

COMMON GRACKLE

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Quiscalus quiscula 
POPULATION: 69 million
TREND: Decreasing 
HABITAT: Breeds in open and semi-open areas. Winters in a variety of open habitats throughout the southeastern United States.

Common Grackles are recognized by their long, keel-shaped tails, fairly heavy and sharp bills, yellow eyes, and (in males) glossy black plumage with an iridescent sheen. The word “grackle” derives from the Latin for Europe’s jackdaw or another crow, somewhat similar-looking but unrelated birds.

The Common Grackle belongs to the Icteridae family, so is related to the Rusty BlackbirdTricolored Blackbird, and Baltimore Oriole. These birds have an interesting trait that helps them use the earth’s geomagnetic fields to navigate.

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