About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Common Grackle: Yellow-eyed black bird

I had a customer at Wild Birds Unlimited Saturday that said the Goldeneyes had arrived at his feeders. It took me a few seconds to understand that that's what he named his Common Grackles. I only see a couple of grackles pass through my tree lined yard in the spring and summer, but people that live in more open areas can see hundreds flying or foraging on their lawns and in agricultural fields.

Common Grackles are large blackbirds with glossy-iridescent bodies and bright golden eyes that give them an intent expression. To keep them at the feeders offer a large perching area and foods like corn, suet or peanuts. To keep them off feeders offer smaller perched feeders and safflower seed (seed they don't like).

When they are walking around on the lawns they make a chip, chip call. And their song isn't much more melodic. This big beautiful bird almost sounds like someone that lost their voice. Common Grackles puff up and produce a guttural readle-eak song accompanied by high-pitched, clear whistles, often described as sounding like a rusty gate. Watch the video: https://macaulaylibrary.org/video/440377
  Related Articles:
- How Grackles got their name http://goo.gl/zGBBaO
- Common Grackles facts http://bit.ly/OzgUjw
- How to keep grackles away: http://bit.ly/Q1q0GI
- Why is the blackbird associated with evil and ill omens? http://bit.ly/OzhBtb
- When black birds fly south http://bit.ly/Q1qDAk

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