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Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)
Birds Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
 Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)
Boat-tailed Grackle male

General Description: Boat-tailed Grackles (Quiscalus major) are large songbirds often seen in noisy flocks. Males are all glossy blue-black and have extremely long, V-shaped tails. Females are tan-brown overall with black (darker) wings and tail. The tail is not overly exaggerated. In all cases, the eyes are dull yellow or dark, but not black. The bill is long and heavy.

In the West, we have Great-tailed Grackles that look and act like Boat-tailed Grackles. Note, however, that our grackles have a fancy yellow eye.

Taxonomy: Passeriformes, Icteridae.

Favored Habitat: Coastal salt marshes. In Florida, also occurs inland in wet areas.

Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)
Boat-tailed Grackle female

Where to Find: Don't look for Boat-tailed Grackles around Las Vegas. Rather, look for them on trips to the U.S. East and Gulf coasts.

Comments: In flight, males can fold the sides of their tail upward to form a boat-like keel. One species of grackle is even called the Boat-tailed Grackle. Sometimes it looks like the tail is turned sideways.

Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major) If you were a big tasty bug or a little grasshopper, or perhaps a bit of stinky dog food, this might be the last face you ever see!
Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)
Male; notice dark eye
Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)
Male; notice nictating membrane pulled over eye
Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major) Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)
Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major) Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)
Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major) Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)
Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)
Female
Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)
Female
Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)
It is always more fun to bathe with friends
Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)
It is always more fun to bathe with friends
Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)
Male displaying: bill up and starting to puff up feathers
Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)
Male displaying: bill up and puffing up feathers
Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)
Male displaying: bill up and fully puffed up feathers
Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)
Male displaying: bill up, feathers returning to normal
Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)
Male with infected foot
Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)
Male with infected foot
Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)
Male with infected foot; I've heard this described as "bumble foot"
more to come ...
Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 120907

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