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Great-tailed Grackle

Great-tailed Grackle.  Photo by Mike Carlo/USFWS
Mike Carlo/USFWS



Males have an all-black body with bluish-purple iridescence, yellow eyes, and a very long, wide tail. Females have a grayish-brown body, a light belly and a light eyebrow above a yellow eye. Females have a shorter tail than males. Great-tailed grackles may be confused with the common grackle, which has a bronze back and sides, and the females have a darker head. These birds are also often misidentified as the boat-tailed grackle, which has not been documented in Oklahoma, but is instead found on the East and Gulf Coasts. 


Approximately 18 inches in length. Wingspan of 18.9 inches.


Grackles are typically found in urban areas, feedlots and croplands. They can also be found in marshy wetlands. Great-tailed grackles are primarily found in central and western Oklahoma. 

Life Cycle

At feeders, great-tailed grackles feed on cracked corn, millet, milo and black-oil sunflower seeds. Away from feeders, they primarily forage on the ground for insects, small fish, grains and other birds' eggs. 

How To Observe

This bird feeds in flocks with other blackbirds. Great-tailed grackles prefer to feed on the ground. 

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