Grackle, or Crow Blackbird, names given to several kinds of North American blackbirds. The adult male grackle is about one foot (30 cm) long, and colored brownish-black or greenish-black, with neck plumage that reflects light as purple or green tints. Females are smaller with duller coloring. The eyes are yellow-ringed. The long, sharp bill is well adapted to catching insects. Most grackles have harsh, squawking voices.
Grackles feed chiefly on grain and insects. They sometimes eat the eggs and destroy the young of other birds. Grackles lay from four to seven black-spotted, bluish-white eggs in mud-and-grass nests built in bushes or trees.
The bronzed grackle, common in the Midwest, and the purple grackle, numerous in New England, migrate in flocks to the South in the fall. The Florida and the large great-tailed and boat-tailed grackles live along the South Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
The bronzed, purple, and Florida grackles are subspecies of Quiscalus quiscula. The great-tailed grackle is Q. mexicanus; the boat-tailed, Q. major. Grackles belong to the family Icteridae.