Common Grackle

Quiscalus quiscula
Icteridae

Common Grackles by Audubon; #1 threat to corn crops
Male has glossy blue head
Female duller but still glossy
Heavier body and longer tail than Red-winged Blackbird
Usually just a dark silhouette
But in the right light, head becomes Iridescent
Plumage becomes jewel-like with light refracting through prismatic feather barbules
Plague of Common Grackles en route to breeding sites
Male keeping watch as female builds nest among cat-tails
Female completing nest in hollowed trunk; clutch ranges from 1 to 7 eggs
Hatchling blind and sparsely covered with down
Contour feathers of fledgling provide warmth
Compared to parent, fledgling dull brown with short tail
Like a bottomless pit!
Juvenile tail at a better length, but still lackluster overall compared to parents
Northern populations migrate to southeastern U.S. for winter
Joins other blackbirds in winter flocks numbering up to thousands and millions!

Species account to come.