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Great-tailed Grackle

Great-tailed grackles are in huge abundance in Texas. Many wake me up outside my hotel room. The evening roosts are spectacular, but the sounds the birds make is down right freaky. I tried to get a video to record the sound. Below is a great-tailed grackle puffing up and giving several clicks and whistles–it almost sounds like camera clicking or weird gears going off. In the background you can hear other great-tailed grackles calling back:

7 comments to Great-tailed Grackle

  • Anonymous

    Just checking your blog out before class… I like it! If you ever find yourself birding Kansas, you’ll have to record the Great-tailed Grackle’s cool rattling thing. The people in the WalMart parking lot may think your crazy, but that sound is just awesome!!!

    Derby, KS

  • Jess

    Look at that wicked pointy beak. It’s long– longer than I’m used to seeing on a grackle. Unless it’s just that I’ve never really seen a grackle beak up close!

  • Spiky Sandy

    I could not identify this bird in Las Vegas, but it makes sense that these are great-tailed grackles. I just figured they make the same sounds as regular grackles and not the melodious and strange sounds that I heard. Thanks for the identification!

    Spiky Sandy
    Pinellas Park, FL USA

  • rebecca

    When my parents moved from Ohio (where we have only the Common Grackle) to Phoenix, they kept telling me about the variety of exotic bird sounds they heard outside each morning. They were pretty surprised when I visited and told them that actually all those noises were coming from just the grackles…

  • birdchick

    Hi Jeff,

    I’ll check it out next time I’m in Kansas!


    I think they do have pointier beaks than the common grackles. I think they’re cool looking.

    spiky sandy,

    glad you got an id, they are pretty strange sounding!


    I’ve done the same thing for people who see starlings in winter plumage and don’t realize it’s the same bird.

  • Kirk Mona

    I love great-tailed grackles. When I’m down in Arizona I spend a lot of time watching them and I love to hear them in the morning. I think the locals think I’m nuts as they tend to think of them as annoying trashy birds. Kind of like people coming to Minnesota and getting excited about crows. I think they are pretty cool too though.

  • Daniel


    Thanks for your great blog. I just saw my first Great Tailed Grackle last week in Arizona. Its song was beautifully bizarre!