Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Robert T. Maytum
Photo Courtesy of Robert T. Maytum

The common grackle, Quiscalus qusicula, is found in Canada and the United States, mainly east of the Rocky Mountains, and is migratory in the northern and western parts of its range. In Utah, it is rare in summer, with most reports of the species being from the north-central and northeastern parts of the state. The common grackle has apparently spread into Utah during recent times, the first Utah record being in 1957. This species inhabits a wide variety of open or partially open situations with scattered trees, and commonly is found in cities, towns, farms, orchards, and other human-modified habitats. It eats insects and other invertebrates, some small vertebrates, seeds, grains, and some fruits.

This species nests in trees, often conifers, sometimes in loose colonies; nest height is normally two to twelve feet above the ground, but nests are sometimes as high as 100 feet above the ground. The one to seven, typically four or five, eggs are incubated by the female parent alone for thirteen to fourteen days. The young are tended by both parents and leave the nest after ten to seventeen (usually twelve to fifteen) days.


  • Peer, B. D., and E. K. Bollinger. 1997. Common grackle. Birds of North America 271: 1–19.

  • Ehrlich, P. R., D. S. Dobkin, and D. Wheye. 1988. The birder’s handbook[:] a field guide to the natural history of North American birds. Simon & Schuster, New York. xxx + 785 pp.

  • Baicich, P. J., and C. J. O. Harrison. 1997. A guide to the nests, eggs, and nestlings of North American birds. 2nd ed. Academic, San Diego. 347 pp.