Boat-Tailed Grackle

Quiscalus major

Boat-Tailed Grackles are difficult to distinguish from Great-Tailed Grackles. While their native vocalizations are quite different, each species will mimic the other. On the upper Texas Gulf Coast, both species are present year round, though some Boat-Tails will range a little further south to the Central Gulf Coast.

Science recognizes four subspecies of these birds. Three breed in Florida and the north-Atlantic Coast north to New York. One subspecies lives on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and east Texas. The Texas-Louisiana birds have brown irises which can differentiate the Great-Tailed birds from the Boat-Tailed. All Great-Tailed Grackles have yellow irises. One of the birds in the Florida population has yellow eyes, though. Thus, this guideline is not trustworthy outside of Texas and Louisiana.

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