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Sherry Pundt

Tucson, United States

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Artist's Description

I captured this Great tailed Grackle at the Sweetwater wetlands in Tucson, AZ. He was catching his breakfast.

Taken with my Canon EOS Rebel XS D1000

The Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) is a medium-sized, gregarious passerine bird native to North and South America. A member of the Icteridae family, it is of the ten extant species of grackle and is closely related to the Red-bellied Grackle and the Velvet-fronted Grackle. It is sometimes referred to as a “blackbird”, though it is not a member of the New World blackbirds, nor is it related to any of the five species of Old World blackbirds (all of which are species of the Turdus genus). Similarly, it is often called “cuervo” in areas of Mexico, although it is not a member of the Corvus genus, nor even of the Corvidae family.

Males reach up to 43 cm (17 in), including a tail that is almost as long as the body, weigh 230 g, and are jet-black with a violet-blue iridescent sheen to the feathers. Females are significantly smaller at 33 cm (13 in), weigh 125 g, and are mainly brownish-black, with a pale brown throat and belly. This morphological difference between males and females of a species is known as sexual dimorphism.
The Great-tailed Grackle and Boat-tailed Grackle were once considered the same species. Some species of grackle, usually the Great-tailed, are confused with an American Crow when people unfamiliar with bird identification are asked to identify a dead blackbird. This usually occurs when birds need to be identified as candidates for West Nile virus.

Source:Wikipedia

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