Common grackle (purple grackle)
This black bird is about the size of a mourning dove. Its black coloring shows blue, green, and purple iridescence in sunlight. Mature birds have a bright yellow eye. Females are browner and less shiny.
Purple Grackles flock together by the hundreds, croaking and scolding. They are omnivorous ground foragers; not only seeds and insects but mice and even other birds make up their diet. They nest high up, often in coniferous trees.
What brings it to the SBG?
Food, cover, nesting sites. The SBG’s open areas, shrubby places, and treelines are all attractive to the Common Grackle. Grass seed, perennial seed, and insect life are all abundant at the SBG.
When can I see it?
Mainly in spring and summer. Most range maps show that Common Grackles are year-round birds in central Pennsylvania, but they are uncommon in winter and their spring arrival is very apparent.