Birda Logo
A photo of a Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula), male
Common Grackle, Male

Common Grackle

Quiscalus quiscula

The Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) is a large icterid bird, notable for its glossy, iridescent plumage and its presence across much of North America. Males are particularly striking with their shimmering heads, while females are less iridescent. These birds possess a long, dark bill, pale yellow eyes, and a lengthy tail, contributing to their distinctive silhouette.

Identification Tips

Adult Common Grackles are identified by their size, ranging from 28 to 34 cm in length, and their iridescent feathers that can appear purple, green, or blue on the head, with a bronze sheen on the body. The males are larger than the females and exhibit more pronounced iridescence and keeled tails in flight. Juveniles are brown with dark brown eyes.


Common Grackles thrive in open and semi-open areas, often near water. They are adaptable and can be found in a variety of environments, from dense trees, particularly pines, to shrubs and man-made structures.


These birds are widespread across North America, primarily to the east of the Rocky Mountains. They are permanent residents in much of their range, with northern populations migrating to the Southeastern United States.


Common Grackles are gregarious and may form large colonies. They are known for their resourcefulness and opportunistic feeding habits, often foraging on the ground, in shallow water, or among shrubs. They may also exhibit "anting" behavior, using insects to apply substances to their feathers.

Song & Calls

The Common Grackle's vocalizations are varied, ranging from a simple "chewink" to a complex series of whistles during the breeding season. Their calls can be harsh and loud, and they are capable of mimicking the sounds of other birds and even humans.


During the breeding season, males display by tipping their heads back and fluffing up their feathers. They nest in well-concealed cups in dense vegetation, often in colonies, and lay clutches of four to seven eggs.

Similar Species

The Common Grackle can be distinguished from other grackle species by its size, iridescence, and distribution. It is less sexually dimorphic than larger grackle species.

Diet and Feeding

Omnivorous in nature, Common Grackles consume a wide range of food, including insects, minnows, frogs, eggs, berries, seeds, grain, and even small birds and rodents. They have a specialized keel in their bill for cracking hard nuts and kernels.

Conservation status

Although currently robust in population, the Common Grackle has experienced a significant decline, with a 61% drop to 73 million individuals from historical highs. As a result, it is classified by the IUCN as Near Threatened.

App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Common Grackles on Birda


More Oropendolas, Orioles, Blackbirds

A photo of a Greyish Baywing (Agelaioides badius)

Greyish Baywing

Agelaioides badius
Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Unbridled Discoveries
Great app for bird lovers
I love this app! It’s a wonderful way to track birding sessions, and also connect you with fellow birders. I also really like the unidentified bird section, it’s a great community tool to help figure out what a never-before-seen bird is!
Alice J
Awesome Birding Community
I absolutely love the community aspect of this app. The app is so user friendly and has fun interactive challenges to get you out birding. I’ve tried others but since I’ve started using Birda I’ve not gone back!
Louise L
Easy to use and accurate
Love this app. It is easy to use and accurate, Their backup communication is really good. I noted a missing species. All through the process, I was kept informed about the progress in correcting the information. I now have the corrected, updated version. 😁 Thanks!
Terrific App for Birders
Downloaded Birda around the time my interest in birding was sparked, and it has been a terrific app to help me (1) share my experience, (2) document my sightings, and (3) learn more about birds in general. That said, I also believe Birda is a fantastic app for birders of all experience levels. Great community!
We've been waiting for an App like this
Excellent! We've been waiting for an app like this! Thank you! It would be nice if you could assign additional birds to sessions later!
Alex J
Friendly and helps to identify birds
Great birding app, good for logging your sightings, also has nice species guide. I'm enjoying the social aspect more than I expected, everyone seems friendly and helps to identify unknown birds. Good mix of newbies and experienced users.
Carl B
Helped me to identify more birds
Love this app and has helped me to identify more birds. The challenges and badges are great for keeping the motivation going to get out and keep birding.
Emma L
App got me interested in birding!
Super friendly community <3 This app got me interested in birding! It teaches me cool stuff and its super friendly, and fun :) The species guide is really developing my knowledge, and i love seeing cool new birds from round the world!
Talli A
My favourite app
As a young birdwatcher who was always keen to be apart of a community but never seemed to find one, my problem was solved downloading this!!! Everyone is so friendly and just as excited to see birds as me 😁
Jake W
Great app
I use this app all the time as it’s quick and easy to log individual sightings or whole birding sessions. It’s an excellent way to meet new people and the forum is full of really friendly people. The challenges are a great way to get involved and learn more about birds. Cannot recommend it enough!
As featured in
Connect with nature,
Find your flock
Download Birda - QR Code
© 2024 All rights reserved