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Quiscalus mexicanus

Great-tailed Grackle

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Icteridae
  • Polytypic 8 Subspecies


Quiscalus mexicanus

Orange Walk, Belize; 18 May 2008 © Thomas B. Johnson

Named for its impressively long and wide tail, the Great-tailed Grackle is a conspicuous member of any avifauna where it is present. A habitat generalist, the Great-tailed Grackle seems to require only large open areas where it can forage on the ground, and  scattered trees for nesting; it commonly is encountered in pastures, residential areas, fields and grasslands. Formerly restricted to Central American, the coast of northwestern South America, and the south central United States, the Great-tailed Grackle is gradually expanding its range northward into central North America, aided by the irrigation of dry areas and the planting of trees in formerly treeless landscapes

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Recommended Citation

. 2010. Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website, for the distribution in Central America and/or Caribbean, and on a map provided by Robert S. Ridgely, for the South American distribution.

The data for the InforNatura maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:Complex Migrant
  • Primary Habitat:Second growth scrub
  • Foraging Strata:Terrestrial
  • Foraging Behavior:---
  • Diet:Terrestrial invertebrates
  • Sociality:Single-Species Flocks
  • Mating System:Unknown
  • Nest Form:Cup
  • Clutch: 2 - 5
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern