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Common Grackles Raising Young

Although female Common Grackles do all the incubating, both males and females provide food for their nestlings.  Males average almost two feedings an hour, females almost four. Judging from the size of the larvae the pictured Grackle has in its beak, its nestlings are midway to fledging, perhaps a week old. The older/larger the nestlings, the greater the size of the food they receive.  Male and female nestlings received items of equal quality and quantity.

During the breeding season, both nestlings and adults feed primarily on insects in addition to a small amount of grain (and an occasional fish, small rodent or leech).  During the winter, their diet consists mostly of agricultural grains and tree seeds such as acorns.

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3 responses

  1. Alice

    Interesting diet. Do the Grackles kill the leech first?

    June 4, 2021 at 8:46 am

  2. The family of crows which I sometimes feed took exception to grackles browsing on the lawn insects near where I usually leave crow snacks. One big crow swooped down very strongly upon them almost landing for attack, then chased them off in the most aggressive manner. I don’t believe I have seen grackles here since.

    June 4, 2021 at 12:55 pm

  3. How interesting that you can tell the age of the nestlings from the size of the food!

    June 4, 2021 at 5:09 pm

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