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Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Birds Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Great-tailed Grackle male

General Description: Great-tailed Grackles (Quiscalus mexicanus) are large songbirds often seen in noisy flocks in urban areas. Males are all glossy blue-black and have extremely long tails. Females have a brown body, black wings, and a black tail that is not overly exaggerated. Adults have bright yellow eyes, but the eyes of young birds are brown. The bill is long and heavy.

Taxonomy: Passeriformes, Icteridae.

Favored Habitat: Urban areas.

Where to Find: Fast-food parking lots, grocery store parking lots, residential areas, urban parks, and rural agricultural areas.

Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Great-tailed Grackle female

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.

Notice that Great-tailed Grackle males have a bright yellow eye. This characteristic is useful for separating this species from Boat-tailed Grackles, which has a darker eye and occurs along the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts.

Notice also how the tail tends to be concave upward. In flight, they actually hold the tail like a vertical rudder on an airplane

Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) Great-tailed Grackle male. In this view, you can almost see the V-shaped tail.
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) If you were a tasty bug or a big seed, or perhaps a bit of dog food, this might be the last face you ever see!
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Great-tailed Grackle male finding taste treats in a picnic area
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Great-tailed Grackle drinking from a dog dish
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Great-tailed Grackle male; this guy looks really annoyed
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Great-tailed Grackle male
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Great-tailed Grackle male
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Great-tailed Grackle female
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Female Great-tailed Grackle in typical urban habitat
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Male (left) displaying to a female (right)
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Male and female in typical nesting habitat
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Great-tailed Grackle juvenile males look like females
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Great-tailed Grackle juvenile; notice the dark eye
Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 120907

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