Grackles are boisterous, abundant members of the Troupial Family. Also members of this family are the blackbirds, cowbirds and orioles. Common Grackles are found all across the mid-west and east coast. Boat Tailed Grackles live along the eastern and southern seacoasts while great-tailed grackles are found mostly in Texas and the south-west. Grackles are aggressive birds who will colonize in large numbers. These birds are very noisy, their gregarious nature is very apparent when observing their roosting and nesting sites.
The Common Grackle has a green/blue or purple iridescent tinted black plumage with a glossy purplish head, neck and breast with the female of the species, slightly smaller and duller colored. Boat-tailed and great-tailed grackles have very long “v” shaped tails which crease in flight, hence the name “boat-tailed”. They are similar in color to the common grackle but are larger birds (16 inches long versus 12 inches long). Female great-tails resemble the males while female boat tails are dark brown in color Great tails differ from Boat Tail Grackles with their bright yellow eyes and more uniform color.