Perching Birds

Boat-tailed Grackle Male Boat-tailed Grackle
Quiscalus major


Males 16-17" (41-43 cm); females 12-13" (30-33 cm). Tail very long and keel-shaped. Male black, iridescent blue on back and breast; yellow or brown eyes. Female smaller, brown with paler breast. Common Grackle smaller; female lacks paler breast. Great-tailed Grackle of western Louisiana and Texas has iridescent purple back and breast, and always has yellow eyes.


Marshes along the coast; in Florida, also on farmlands.


3 or 4 pale blue eggs, spotted and scrawled with brown and purple, in a bulky cup of grass, mud, and decayed vegetation placed from 2 to 10' (60 cm to 3 m) up in marsh grass or bushes.


Resident along coasts from New Jersey south and west to Louisiana; also inland in peninsular Florida.

Boat-tailed Grackle Female


Harsh jeeb-jeeb-jeeb-jeeb, unlike the whistles and clucks of the Great-tailed Grackle.


This species and its close relative the Great-tailed Grackle were thought to be a single species until it was found that both nest in southwestern Louisiana without interbreeding.