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BIRD OF THE WEEK
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Quiscalus quiscula
POPULATION: 69 million
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 Blackbird, Tricolored Blackbird, and Baltimore Oriole. These birds have an interesting trait that helps them use the earth’s geomagnetic fields to navigate.