grackle

/grak"euhl/, n.
1. any of several long-tailed American birds of the family Icteridae, esp. of the genus Quiscalus, having usually iridescent black plumage.
2. any of several Old World birds of the family Sturnidae, esp. certain mynas.
[1765-75; < NL Gracula name of genus, based on L graculus jackdaw]

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Any of several songbird species (in the family Icteridae) having iridescent black plumage and a long tail; also called crow-blackbird.

Grackles use their stout, pointed bill to snap up insects, dig grubs from the soil, and kill small vertebrates, including fishes and baby birds; they can also crack hard seeds. The common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) of North America is about 12 in. (30 cm) long. The males of two Cassidus species (boat-tailed and great-tailed grackles) have a long, deeply keeled tail; these species are found in arid lands of the southwestern U.S. to Peru and in salt marshes from New Jersey to Texas, where they are locally called jackdaws. See also blackbird, mynah.

Common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)

Thase Daniel

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▪ Icteridae grouping
also called  Crow-blackbird,  

      any of several species of birds belonging to the family Icteridae (order Passeriformes) that have iridescent black plumage and long tails. Grackles use their stout, pointed bills to snap up insects, dig grubs from the soil, and kill small vertebrates, including fishes and baby birds; they can also crack hard seeds. Most grackles nest in colonies; after breeding, they form large flocks and may damage crops.

      The common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) of North America is about 30 cm (12 inches) long. In the great-tailed and boat-tailed grackles (Cassidix mexicanus and C. major), the male has a long, deeply keeled tail: his total length may be 43 cm. These species are found in arid lands of the southwestern United States to Peru and in salt marshes from New Jersey to Texas. The latter population, locally called jackdaws, consists of a separate species (C. minor). For the grackle of southern Asia, see mynah.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Grackle — Grac kle, n. [Cf. L. graculus jackdaw.] (Zo[ o]l.) (a) One of several American blackbirds, of the family {Icterid[ae]}; as, the rusty grackle ({Scolecophagus Carolinus}); the boat tailed grackle (see Boat tail); the purple grackle ({Quiscalus… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • grackle — ☆ grackle [grak′əl] n. [L graculus, jackdaw < IE echoic base * ger > CRANE, CROW ] any of several blackbirds somewhat smaller than a crow; esp., the common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) …   English World dictionary

  • grackle — 1772, gracule, from genus name Gracula, Modern Latin fem. from L. graculus jackdaw, European crow, perhaps of imitative origin. The anglicized form of the word is attested from 1782 …   Etymology dictionary

  • Grackle — A Grackle is a gregarious, passerine bird native to North and South America. Each of the 11 species of grackle belongs to the Icterid family. The species are:* Genus Quiscalus ** Boat tailed Grackle, Quiscalus major ** Common Grackle, Quiscalus… …   Wikipedia

  • grackle — kviskalai statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Quiscalus angl. grackle vok. Grackel, m rus. гракл, m pranc. quiscale, m ryšiai: platesnis terminas – trupialiniai siauresnis terminas – antilinis kviskalas siauresnis terminas –… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • grackle — noun Etymology: New Latin Gracula, genus name, alteration of Latin graculus jackdaw Date: 1772 1. any of a genus (Quiscalus of the family Icteridae) of large American blackbirds having iridescent black plumage 2. any of various Asian starlings… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • grackle — noun a) Any of several American blackbirds of the genus Quiscalus having iridescent plumage b) Any of several Asian myna birds of the genus Gracula …   Wiktionary

  • grackle — n. type of bird …   English contemporary dictionary

  • grackle — noun 1》 a songbird of the American blackbird family, the male of which is shiny black with a blue green sheen. [Quiscalus quiscula and other species.] 2》 an Asian mynah or starling with mainly black plumage. [Gracula and other genera.] Origin C18 …   English new terms dictionary

  • grackle — grack·le …   English syllables

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