|Great-Tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)|
DESCRIPTION: Sexes different. Male L=18" (46cm); female L=15" (38cm). Adult male (shown here) is irridescent black, with purple sheen, golden eyes, and a long, keeled tail. Adult female has brown upperparts and cinnamon/brownish/grayish underparts, greenish-yellow eyes, and a tail that is long, but not as long as the male. Call is a loud cacophony of includes clear whistles and rattling notes, familiar sounds around the University of Arizona, Reid Park, and other parks in Tucson with water.
NATURAL HISTORY: Great-tailed Grackles have been expanding their range northward from Mexico, only reaching Arizona in 1936. Diet is varied, including both plants and animals (including eggs and nestlings of other birds). Live in large colonies and both males and females are polygamous; however, the female builds the nest, incubates the eggs, and raises the nestlings.