Purple Gaze

Another species which just happen to have returned to my backyard are the Common Grackles. These larger birds with long legs are a bit awkward, they are also voracious and love to mess up any kind of feeders because the awkward clumsiness. Their dark bodies in contrast with their white eyes with a black pupil make them appear to be mad and have an eerie look.

They are very gregarious birds and usually fly in groups. They have adapted very well to urban areas and backyard feeders.

Their plumage colors vary from brown when young to purple, black , green and have at times iridescent colors.

They may not be very popular in the rank of pretty birds but they possess a special beauty when seen up close.

“They move and act like awkward clowns”


Photo Gallery


Text and photographs © HJ Ruiz – Avian101

18 thoughts on “Purple Gaze

  1. I like Grackles. They are common which makes us value them less, I suppose, but they’re beautiful in their own way, and important to watch when other less common blackbirds move with them in flocks. Lovely pictures. 🙂

  2. The species we have in British Columbia are more black than purple–certainly less beautiful than yours there–though with the same disconcerting yellow eyes. Around late May they nest together in the same vicinity, and whenever anyone walks past they swoop down to basically attack whomever it is–like me, walking my dog. It seriously is like being in Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’. I prefer Starlings to Grackles. At least Starlings are amusing, the way they seem to do nothing but fight together, while unable to stay apart.

    • If you think of it and look closely, all birds are amazing by their own nature. I enjoy them and learn. They have been on Earth much longer than we have and they still thrive uncontested. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  3. Very nice pictures, you have captured the iridescent hues so well! It’s funny that I saw some today in the salt marsh and took a few pictures too, my first ones of Common Grackles.

    • That’s great Tiny! Just make sure they are common, in Florida the grackles are mostly boat-tailed grackles. Thank you! 🙂

  4. I always like to see grackles in the sunshine because their color varies in all shades of purple to black. (I also like the title’s play on words, HJ, as I am a big Jimi Hendrix fan.) 😀

    • You’ve been the only person that caught up on that! I love to play with my post titles. Why not? Thank you Jet! We have a lot in common I’ve noticed. 🙂

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