• Peak Breeding Activity: March-July
• Incubation: 12-14 days
• Clutch Size: 4-5 eggs
• Young Fledge: 12-15 days after hatching
• Typical Foods: insects and other invertebrates
The common grackle is an all-black bird with bright yellow eyes and is the largest of the blackbirds in Ohio. Note the iridescent luster of the feathers on the body and the head. This plumage, particularly on the male, gives the bird a bronze or purple appearance. The long, keel-shaped tail readily distinguishes the grackle from other blackbirds.
Habitat and Habits
This species is an abundant summer resident. In the past they were found mostly in thick vegetation around water, but now they are common in woodlands, parks, farm fields and cities. During spring and fall migrations they are highly gregarious, often being found among flocks of red-wings, cowbirds, and starlings numbering in the hundreds of thousands. The diet of the common grackle is extremely variable. They feed on insects, seeds, grains, and eggs, among other items. Grackles emit an abrasive variety of harsh, grating sounds, often concluding with a metallic squeak.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
The nest is a large cluster of twigs, lined with grass, and is usually placed in an evergreen tree. The eggs are pale blue, marked with black.