Carib Grackle (Quiscalus lugubris)

Carib Grackle

Carib Grackle

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Icteridae | [latin] Quiscalus lugubris | [UK] Carib Grackle | [FR] Quiscale merle | [DE] Trauergrackel | [ES] Zanate Caribeno | [NL] Caribische Troepiaal


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Quiscalus lugubris NA, SA Lesser Antilles, n SA
Quiscalus lugubris contrusus
Quiscalus lugubris fortirostris
Quiscalus lugubris guadeloupensis
Quiscalus lugubris inflexirostris
Quiscalus lugubris insularis
Quiscalus lugubris lugubris
Quiscalus lugubris luminosus
Quiscalus lugubris orquillensis

Physical charateristics

The adult male Carib Grackle is 27cm long with a long wedge-shaped tail, although the latter is not so long as with other grackles. Its plumage is entirely black with a violet iridescence, its eyes are yellow, and it has a strong dark bill. The adult female is 23cm long, with a shorter tail and brown plumage, darker on the upperparts. Young males are shorter tailed than adult males and have some brown in the plumage. Young females are very similar to the adult females.

Listen to the sound of Carib Grackle

[audio: Grackle.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 27 cm size max.: 28 cm
incubation min.: 12 days incubation max.: 13 days
fledging min.: 14 days fledging max.: 13 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 4  


North America, South America : Lesser Antilles, North South America


The breeding habitat is open areas including cultivation and human habitation.


This is a colonial breeder, with several deep, lined cup nests often being built in one tree. Two to four whitish eggs are laid. Incubation takes 12 days, with a further 14 to fledging. This species is sometimes parasitised by Shiny Cowbird, but is quite successful at rejecting the eggs of that species.

Feeding habits

The Carib Grackle is a highly gregarious species, foraging on the ground for insects, other invertebrates or scraps. It can become very tame and bold, entering restaurants to seek food, normally feeding on leftovers. It will form groups to attack potential predators, such dogs, mongooses or humans, and at night it roosts colonially.


This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Carib Grackle status Least Concern


Sedentary throughout range.

Distribution map

Carib Grackle distribution range map

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