All About Grackles | Grackle vs Starling | Grackle vs Crow

What are grackles?

Grackles are the common species of the blackbird. They are slightly different from other blackbirds as they are taller than the rest of the species. They have long bills and tails and shiny feathers which make them look more different than other birds. Grackles are mostly found in North America, near the Rocky Mountains.

What do grackles eat?

Grackles are omnivorous; they can eat everything, like, insects, eggs, fruits, crops, and even garbage. They can also eat other birds and their eggs.

How long do grackles live?

The maximum life period of grackles is nearly over 22 years, although it’s not with every grackle. Only half of all the grackles reach adulthood. 

Where do common grackles live?

Common grackles are found in open regions with greenery in the jungle and urban areas. They can also be found in orchards, farmlands, savannahs, swamps, suburban and agricultural settings.

Grackle vs Starling

Unlike the Grackles, Starlings are not from the USA. Starling’s feathers are more spotted and shiny and their bills are long, thin, and pointed.

When it comes to grackles, these birds have long legs and tail. Polished, iridescent bodies and glossy golden eyes give grackles an intent expression.

Grackle vs Crow

Biological Appearance

Crows are usually 11 to 13 inches tall, with a wingspan of 14 to 18 inches – which is double the wingspan of grackles. Also, crows weigh approximately four times more than grackles.

Habitat and Range

The American crow is common throughout the continental United States, varying as far as southern Canada. The common grackle lives year-round in almost all states east of the Rocky Mountains.

Diet and Predators

Crows are frequently seen scavenging at the location of road-killed carcasses. Grackles feed heavily on corn; in fact, they’re the primary threat to the crop.

Frequently asked Questions

1. How to get rid of Grackles and Starlings at bird feeders?

  1. Place different types of feeders in your lawn, comprising “thistle” feeders and suet feeders.
  2. Set a cage or screen around your seed feeders so only smaller birds can obtain the food. Create your own, using chicken wire, or buy one of the retail bird feeders made particularly to solve this problem.  
  3. Use a Hopper type feeder with a loaded perch that closes when a huge bird (or squirrel) lands on it.
  4. Keep birdseed off the ground and avoid filling your outlet feeder for a week. Blackbirds and Starlings may get despondent and move on.
  5. Reduce the perches on your tube feeders. The smaller birds (Titmice, Goldfinches, and Chickadees) will be able to eat but bigger birds like Grackle or Starlings will not be able to land.
  6. If Starlings are consuming all your suet, try a feeder that needs the birds to hang upside down. 

2. How to get rid of grackles in trees?

The primary way of preventing grackle habitation around your trees is to set up bird nets. These are durable and used to cover small areas of fruits, flowers, or crops.

They form a preventative structure around your garden that creates an impenetrable layer for the roosting grackles.

It only takes a few days after installation to see a drastic decrease in grackle habitation on your property. This product is usually recommended for maintaining vineyards and orchards.

3. How to get rid of grackles at the front porch?

They often stay at a distance from individual birds, including short-eared owls, cooper’s hawks, and red-tailed hawks.

These predator birds generate sounds that are like distress signals for the grackles, and they keep away from those regions for their survival.

Luckily, various electronic devices can imitate these predator calls and make it seem like a danger zone for those menacing blackbirds.

4. How to keep grackles away from the swimming pool?

  1.  Float an inflatable alligator in the pool and just permit it to float.
  2.  Place toy snakes around the pool.
  3.  Plastic Owls – hang them along with fence posts and around the pool.
  4.  Try playing a sound recording of birds on the target.

5. Where do grackles nest?

The female prefers the nest site, with the male occasionally following along as she surveys. After the beginning, females always seem to change their minds and choose another site.

Generally, the nest is high in a coniferous tree between two vertical parts or on a horizontal branch (although they’ve been listed as low as 8 inches off the ground and in deciduous cattails, vegetation, and other sites).

Nests are often built near water. Rarely, Common Grackles nest in extraordinary places such as birdhouses, cliff crevices, woodpecker holes, barns, and still-occupied nests Great Blue Herons and Osprey.

6. How smart are grackles?

Great-tailed grackles, for example, belong to the exact family as Orioles and blackbirds—a group not always considered particularly smart.

Yet when introduced with classic tests given to ravens and crows, great-tailed grackles passed.

According to the research, published in 2016 in PeerJ, the grackles were given puzzles comprising food as a prize. Not only did they learn to solve the situation, when the laws of the puzzle changed, the birds nimbly modified their strategies.

What’s more, each grackle moved toward the puzzle differently, demonstrating individual styles of thinking—a quality they share with humans.


Grackles are smart birds that adapt to their surroundings. Using a specific deterrent frequently might cause the effect to wear off as the birds might think it’s fake.

However, if you use and conserve all the different deterrents together, it will act as an impenetrable wall for grackles.

Also, keep in mind not to stop reviewing these methods after attaining the desired results if you don’t want the grackles to gather on your land again.

Make sure to take safety measures when about to use chemicals, and clean your lawn before grackle droppings and clean the dust before any other effort.

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