Common Grackle Backyard Bird

Written by on August 15, 2012 in Common Backyard Birds with 0 Comments

The Common Grackle is an interesting and fun bird to watch.  But, usually you will see many of these birds grouped together. You can recognize them easily by their iridescence head feathers that typically take on a purple or green color in the sunlight.

These birds are very social with each other and will congregate in large flocks. Flocks of Common Grackles have a nickname, that of plague. Which we know isn’t really a plague. Common Grackles are song birds. They have the ability to make differently pitched sounds especially during breeding season. Their standard call seems to be harsh to the human ear, but they still have the songs that make them song birds.

Eating for Common Grackles is usually on the ground. They don’t perch on the side of a bird feeder, but will take the seeds that have fallen. Feeding Common Grackles just requires scattering seeds on the ground. They are omnivores, which means they tend to eat both vegetarian and meat. Ground-dwelling insects are a popular choice for them. But berries, seeds and grain are also big in their diet.

Common Grackles have an interesting practice known as “anting.” They will take an insect in their beak and rub it along their feathers. This spreads a liquid secreted by the insects, like formic acid. They do this both for the antibacterial properties and the mite repelling properties. Rather smart birds, I would say.

The flocking together action of Common Grackles allows them to protect themselves. They can better watch for predators and then group attack should a predator get too close. Again, smart birds. With these kinds of behaviors to watch for, Common Grackles can quickly become a favorite of backyard bird watchers.

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