Boat-tailed Grackles


Strictly a coastal species, Boat-tailed Grackles are found along the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts, as well as across the entire state of Florida generally near marshes and lakes.

With the lighting just right, the black male will shine with iridescent colors of purples, blues, and greens.


Boat-tailed Grackle (male)


The female is dark brown and russet in color.


Boat-tailed Grackle (female)


Boat-tailed Grackles are aptly named for their very long tails that make up almost half their body length and resembles the keel of a boat.


Boat-tailed Grackle (male)


“Singing A Song”


There are two eye color variations with Boat-tailed GracklesΒ  Those males along the Gulf Coast and in Florida have brown eyes, as mine shows above.Β  Along the East Coast, you’ll find the males with bright yellow eyes.



47 thoughts on “Boat-tailed Grackles

  1. They have a similar iridescent sheen to Starlings Donna, and also share lack of popularity with farmers and other birds, having said that they are beautiful in their own right. Thanks for sharing this interesting bird. Have a restful and enjoyable weekend my friend πŸ™‚

  2. These birds are good looking and very playful, they love to strut their beauty. Great captures, Donna. πŸ™‚

  3. Delicious pictures Donna! It is interesting with these black birds that excel in the right light. I guess the male must find the right place and light conditions to be able to really impress the female, if he is not a first class singer. You really captured the right moment in the first picture.

  4. Beautiful portraits, Donna! The Boat-tailed Grackles we saw in St. Marys, Georgia (east coast) nine years ago had the bright yellow eyes. We got to see those flashes of iridescent blue as they flitted about on a large water fountain. Thanks so much for sharing these lovely shots and bringing back some pleasant memories.

  5. Colorado had a coast at one point a looong time ago, but I think that was before the age of grackles. The only representatives we have here are common and great-tailed, but they are fun, too, and share many similarities.

  6. It’s always interesting to see some of our more “common” birds in the right light, such as you’ve captured here in a great series of photographs. Some find the grackle annoying, most “bird photographers” would pass them by and, yet, they are simply beautiful!

    Thank you, Donna, for not passing these gorgeous birds by and for sharing their beauty!

    • Thank you, Wally! We are terrible as birders, passing by on the commons, hunting for that special one. Yet, our commons are some of the prettiest and smartest of them all! πŸ™‚

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