Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Common Grackle - Quiscalus quiscula
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General Comments One of the more abundant breeding birds in North America is the Common Grackle, even though it does not nest in the far Western states. It is found across North Carolina at all seasons, though like many blackbirds it is scarce in the mountains in winter. Roosting counts of perhaps 1/2-million birds have been seen in the eastern part of the state. Grackles nest in small loose colonies in pine trees, often in woodlots or rows of trees in open areas, but feed on the ground at a variety of lawns, roadsides, fields, and croplands. At other seasons, they feed in huge flocks with other blackbirds, and European Starlings, in croplands and other grassy areas; however, they roost in swamps and dense forests.
Breeding Status Breeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank S5B,S5N
Global Rank G5
Coastal Plain Permanent resident, with migratory movements. Very common in summer, and abundant (at least locally) in winter, over the province. However, along the coastal islands, much less numerous, though can be common in suitable habitat, at all seasons. Peak counts:
Piedmont Permanent resident, with migratory movements. Very common in summer; common to at times abundant in winter in the eastern and southern portions, and locally common elsewhere in winter. Peak counts:
Mountains Permanent resident, with migratory movements. In summer, common to very common at low elevations, and fairly common to about 4,000 feet; scarce higher. In winter, uncommon in early winter in lower elevations, but rare to uncommon in midwinter and perhaps not a regular winter resident; scarce at higher elevations in winter, where not regular. Peak counts:
Finding Tips None needed.
Attribution LeGrand[2012-11-08], LeGrand[2011-12-19], LeGrand[2011-10-11]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.
NC Breeding Season Map
Map depicts assumed breeding season abundance for the species.