Greater Antillean grackle

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Greater Antillean grackle
Quiscalus niger1.jpg
Puerto Rico subspecies
Also known as the iguana bird
Q. n. brachypterus
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Icteridae
Genus: Quiscalus
Species: Q. niger
Binomial name
Quiscalus niger
(Boddaert, 1783)

The Greater Antillean grackle (Quiscalus niger) is a grackle found throughout the Greater Antilles and the Cayman Islands as well as smaller, nearby islands. Like all Quiscalus grackles, it is a rather large, gregarious bird.[2]


The 27 cm long male is glossy black with a large tail; the 24 cm long female has a smaller tail and is similar in colour but less glossy than the male. It lives largely in heavily settled areas.

There are seven subspecies, each restricted to one island or island group. They differ from the nominate Hispaniola subspecies niger in size, bill size, and colour tone.


It is very friendly towards humans and is known on various islands as cling-cling, chango, chinchilín, and iguana bird.[3] The locals, and especially tour guides in San Juan, sometimes make fun of the tourists by telling them the birds are iguana-eating carnivores released by the government in response to the iguana epidemic[4][not in citation given] on the island, hence the name iguana bird.[5] In areas where Greater Antillean grackles are less prevalent, such as some parts of Mexico, guides have different names for the bird.[6]


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