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Greater Antillean Grackle - BirdForum Opus

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Photo by John Keep
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, April, 1994
Quiscalus niger


25-30 cm
Adult male has yellow eyes and is glossy black with a deep V shape in the tail. Female duller and less strong V.

Juvenile even duller and with medium brown eyes.


Greater Antilles: Cuba, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico.



Photo by Raybel
Puerto Plata, Grand Cayman

Polytypic, Seven subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • Q. n. caribaeus:
  • Western Cuba, Isle of Pines and cays east to Cayos de las Doce Leguas
  • Q. n. gundlachii:
  • Central and easter Cuba and inner cays of Jardines de la Reina
  • Q. n. caymanensis:
  • Q. n. bangsi:
  • Q. n. crassirostris:
  • Q. n. niger:
  • Hispaniola, Gonâve, Tortue, Île-a-Vache and Beata islands
  • Q. n. brachypterus:


Pastures, farms, scrub, parking lots and other open and edge areas in lowlands.


Usually occur in flocks, and outside of breeding season may roost in vary large flocks often at electrical substations.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Raffaele et al. 1998. Birds of the West Indies. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 0713649054
  3. Kirwan, GM, A Levesque, M Oberle, and CJ Sharpe. 2019. Birds of the West Indies. (Lynx and Birdlife International Field Guides) Barcalona, Lynx Editions. ISBN 978-84-16728-17-6

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