One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A songbird of the American blackbird family, the male of which has shiny black plumage with a blue-green sheen.
Several genera and species, family Icteridae, in particular the common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)
- ‘Even a casual neighborhood search will turn up a surprising variety, including doves, cardinals, bluejays, grackles, a handful of sparrows and at least two or three species guaranteed to make you reach for your field guide.’
- ‘The common birds included grackles, blackbirds, catbirds, and lots and lots of robins.’
- ‘Central Park is rife with robins, great with grackles, and burgeoning with blue jays.’
- ‘As I was washing the dishes, a grackle landed in the grass outside the kitchen window.’
- ‘If jays, grackles, and other large birds are crowding out smaller birds, switch to a feeder that discriminates, or blocks, them, but not the smaller, more desirable birds.’
- ‘There are great-tailed grackles everywhere singing into the night - they sound like dolphins in the trees.’
- ‘Well-adapted to urban environments, grackles, crows, ravens, blackbirds, and jays thrive everywhere we do.’
- ‘Chickadees, cardinals, doves, and robins came and went, and a grackle made a racket in the woods.’
- ‘If larger birds such as grackles are a problem, choose feeders designed for small birds, such as a thistle tube or hanging globe.’
- ‘In this study, we focused on a group of birds within the family Icteridae termed the grackles and allies.’
- ‘Instead of our winter visitors that left us for more northern areas, we now have grackles, red-wings and cowbirds.’
- ‘Cracked corn is a favorite of mourning doves, grackles and juncos.’
- ‘The grackles and starlings looked especially handsome; I guess the spectacular weather is an excuse for everyone to wear their finery.’
- ‘Above, a white stork stands surrounded by boat-tailed grackles in Lion Country Safari, a bird sanctuary in Palm Beach, Florida.’
- ‘I went down towards the creek and found a huge flock of robins, grackles and red-winged blackbirds foraging.’
2Another term for an Asian mynah or starling, with mainly black plumage.
Gracula and other genera, family Sturnidae; southern grackle is another term for the hill mynah
- ‘I heard a distant flock of blackbirds gathering for the night - starlings and grackles, perhaps.’
Late 18th century: from modern Latin Gracula, from Latin graculus ‘jackdaw’.
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