Unsorted Wild Birds

Boat-tailed Grackles



The Boat-tailed Grackles (Quiscalus major) is a large blackbird that was once considered the same species as the Great-tailed Grackle.

Distribution / Range

It occurs naturally on the coasts of the southeastern USA.

They are often found in coastal saltwater marshes, and, in Florida, also on inland waters.


The male Boat-tailed Grackle is 42 cm long. Adult males have entirely iridescent black plumage, a long dark bill, a pale yellowish or brown iris and a long keel-shaped tail. The 37-cm long adult female is shorter tailed, and tawny-brown in colour apart from the darker wings and tail.

Young males are black but lack the adult’s iridescence. Immature females are duller versions of the adult female, and have blotches or spots on the breast.

There are four subspecies of the Boat-tailed Grackle, differing in size and color of the eyes.

Diet / Feeding

They mostly eat insects, minnows, frogs, eggs, berries, seeds, and grain, even small birds.They forage on the ground, in shallow water, or in shrubs; they will steal food from other birds.

Nesting / Breeding

The nest is a well-concealed cup in trees or shrubs near water; three to five eggs are laid.

Songs / Vocalizations

Its song is described as a harsh jeeb. It also makes a variety of typically grackle-like chatters and sqeaks.

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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