Grackles: What you may not know about Texas' most infamous bird

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Facts about Great-tailed Grackles (KTRK)

If you live in Texas, you know about grackles. They cover yards and power lines, make downright awful noises, and have been known to make a mess on vehicles. There's more to those boisterous birds than that. Here are a few facts from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology about grackles you probably didn't know:

  • Great-tailed Grackles are the type Texans are most familiar with.
  • Males are large and lanky, glossy violet-black, and pale yellow eyes.
  • Females are brown and about half the size of males.
  • Since they are smaller and require less to eat, female Great-tailed Grackle chicks have a higher survival rate than males.
  • Great-tailed Grackles prefer rural and developed areas, foraging in agricultural fields or lawns and parking lots in cities.
  • Partners in Flight estimates the global breeding population at 10 million with 53 percent living in the U.S. and 36% living in Mexico.
  • In winter, enormous flocks of both male and female Great-tailed Grackles gather in "roost trees."
  • The oldest recorded Great-tailed Grackle based on banding records lived in Texas, and was at least 7 years, 9 months old.

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