Brief SummaryRead full entry
Common Grackles are omnivorous . They forage mainly by walking on the ground or wading in very shallow water. Outside the breeding season, they usually forage in flocks.
Common Grackles often nest in small colonies of 10 to 30 pairs (sometimes as many as 100 or more) and several males may perch in adjacent treetops to sing their creaking, grating songs. In courtship, the male fluffs out his body feathers, partly spreads his wings and tail, and delivers a short scraping song; he also postures with his bill pointing straight up. The nest is typically built in dense vegetation less than 6 m above the ground. The nest, which is built by the female, is a bulky open cup of weeds, grass, and twigs, usually with some mud added, and the inside is lined with fine grass. The 4 to 5 (sometimes as few as two or as many as 6) pale blue eggs are blotched with brown. Incubation is by the female only for 12 to 14 days. Both parents feed the young, bringing them mostly insects. The young leave the nest around 16 to 20 days after hatching.
Common Grackles are present year-round across much of their range. Migration usually involves large flocks. In the north, migration takes place quite early in spring and rather late in the fall.
(Kaufman 1996; AOU 1998; Dunn and Alderfer 2011)