grackle


grackle

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Common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)—Thase Daniel

Any of several songbird species (in the family Icteridae) having iridescent black plumage and a long tail; also called crow-blackbird. Grackles use their stout, pointed bill to snap up insects, dig grubs from the soil, and kill small vertebrates, including fishes and baby birds; they can also crack hard seeds. The common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) of North America is about 12 in. (30 cm) long. The males of two Cassidus species (boat-tailed and great-tailed grackles) have a long, deeply keeled tail; these species are found in arid lands of the southwestern U.S. to Peru and in salt marshes from New Jersey to Texas, where they are locally called jackdaws. See also blackbird, mynah.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on grackle, visit Britannica.com.

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