Birds carry and transmit over 60 different types of diseases! Here are just a few that negatively affect humans, pets, and livestock: Aspergillosis Avian Inﬂuenza (H5N1) Blastomycosis Candidiasis Capillariasis Chlamydial Chlamydiosis Coccidiosis Cryptococcosis Dermatosis Echinostoma revolutum Encephalitis Erysipeloid Fowl Cholera Fowl Typhoid Haplorchis Pumilio Histoplasmosis Hypoderaeum conoideum Infectious Coryza Listerious Meningitis Mycotic Diseases New Castle Disease Parasitic Nematodes Parasitic Trematodes Paratyphoid Pasteurellosis Protozoal Diseases Pullorum Disease Salmonellosis Sarcosporidiosis Schistosomiasis Spirochetosis St. Louis Encephalitis Streptococosis Taxoplasmosis Trichomoniasis Tuberculosis Ulcerative Enteritis Vibriosis Viral Diseases West Nile Virus Yersiniosis
Grackles are known to live up to 22 years in the wild with an average lifespan of 17 years. This is almost unheard of in other pest bird species in North America. The common grackle is able to eat and forage almost anywhere. They are a highly adaptable species and can create homes in a variety of different settings. Common grackles also have a very high percentage of their young that live and leave the nest in comparison to other birds. This makes the common grackle a very resilient breed.
Grackles have an estimated population of 73 million in North America. These birds are native to North America but are considered a pest bird because of the damage they cause to agricultural properties and farming crops. In the US, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, grackles are protected. However, under this act, grackles may be controlled without a federal permit when they are found, “committing or about to commit depredations upon ornamental or shade trees, agricultural crops, livestock or wildlife, or when concentrated in such numbers and manner to constitute a health hazard or other nuisance.” You will need to consider your local and state laws before you take any type of control measures against grackles.
Grackles will typically nest in high areas anywhere from 3 to 20 feet above the ground in trees. The common grackle nests in shelter belts, farm yards, marshes, and town. It is very rare, but there are some cases of common grackles nesting in barns, bird houses, woodpecker holes, or inside of older buildings. Nesting can take anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks. The nest is not actually built during this time, but both male and female birds are collecting materials and bringing them to the nesting site. Female grackles will then build the nest in approximately 5 days. Nests are made up of grass, twigs, and mud.
Feed per day: .08lbs per bird Grackles are known to eat a variety of foods and are considered omnivorous, in that they eat both plants and animals. These birds are known to eat fruit, grains, seeds, corn, acorns, insects, goldfish, minnows, salamanders, mice, and frogs! Grackle flocks will feed in fields, lawns, wood lots, and bottomlands. These birds are more predatory in that they are more likely to feed on smaller animals than many other birds. Grackles also have a stronger and larger bill that allows them to feed on acorns and tree fruits in the winter.
To attract mates, male grackles will surround and follow one female and perform different displays in order to attract the female. This includes puffing out their chests and feathers. As mating continues, the female will eliminate the males until there is just one left that she has chosen to mate with. Female grackles will lay 4-7 eggs that will then hatch after 13-14 days. Young chicks will then leave the nest after 12 to 16 days after they have hatched. The male will guard the nest during the time that the female is feeding the young chicks. Males may choose to pair with another female during this time.