Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Great-tailed Grackle

Great-tailed Grackles also fed at Laguna Atascosa refuge during our February visit. I have previously blogged about this species’ northern expansion, beginning in southern Texas in the early 1900s and continuing by century’s end across much of the central United States, including Minnesota, and even at least three Canadian provinces.

Great-tailed Grackles are fairly omnivorous. Their diet is composed mainly of plant material in the winter; arthropods and other animals in the summer. They are reported to kill small birds, but to leave them uneaten (Johnson and Peer 2001). These authors provide an extensive list of food items, but do not mention fruit, such as the grackle below appears to be devouring. I assume Great-tailed Grackles limit their fruit consumption to bird feeders and that they do not normally attack orchards.

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