The Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) is no stranger in our midst, but you really need to be along the coast to spot a Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major). Marine Park had a few of them foraging in the reed stubble recently. Here’s one of these spectacular “blackbirds.” They are bigger than the Commons, with longer tails and a full-body iridescence where Commons have purple-blue heads and brownish-bronze bodies.Unfortunately, none of my pictures quite captured the intensity of this bird’s blue iridescence in that back-lit bright morning sun.
They’re called “boat-tailed” because their tails looks like keels in flight. Their other cousins, the Great-tailed Grackles, have even bigger tails.