Thursday, June 1, 2023

Purple (Common) Grackle

During a bird walk in Central Park in New York City in May I took two perfunctory photos of a grackle, thinking that it was likely a boat-tailed grackle, a grackle I'd seen many times before. 
To my surprise, when I got home, worked on my photos and ran them through iNaturalist, I discovered this was a new species of grackle for me, one I'd never heard of before: the common grackle. 

The common grackle is basically found east of the Rocky Mountains and most of southern into mid-Canada. 
Yellow is the summer/breeding range, blue is a winter range and green is the year-round range. Northern birds usually migrate to the southeastern U.S. 
The common grackle has a long black bill, yellow eyes, a long tail, and black feathers with purple, green or blue iridescence on the head, and bronze sheen on the body. 

There are three subspecies of common grackle: (1) the Florida grackle; (2) the purple grackle; and (3) the bronzed grackle.  I believe I saw the purple grackle, which is found east of the Appalachian Mountains to southeastern New York, south to central Alabama and west to central Louisiana. The back and belly of the purple grackle are typically purple and the tail is usually blue-green. 

1 comment:

  1. I guess that's a lesson in not counting your chickens - or grackles - before they hatch or before you run them through iNaturalist.