Greater Antillean grackle
|Greater Antillean grackle|
|Puerto Rican subspecies
Q. n. brachypterus
|Range of Q. niger|
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. It lives largely in heavily settled areas.
The 27 cm (11 in) long male is glossy black with a large rudder-like tail; the 24 cm (9.4 in) long female has a smaller tail and is similar in colour but less glossy than the male. The eye is yellow and is the only non-black body part.
There are seven subspecies, each restricted to one island or island group. They differ from the nominate Q. n. niger subspecies in size, bill size and colour tone.
- Q. n. caribaeus – (Todd, 1916): found in western Cuba and on Isle of Pines
- Q. n. gundlachii – Cassin, 1867: found in central and eastern Cuba
- Q. n. caymanensis – Cory, 1886: found on Grand Cayman Island
- Q. n. bangsi – (Peters, JL, 1921): found on Little Cayman Island
- Q. n. crassirostris – Swainson, 1838: found in Jamaica
- Q. n. niger – (Boddaert, 1783): nominate, found on Hispaniola
- Q. n. brachypterus – Cassin, 1867: found in Puerto Rico
It is very friendly towards humans and is known on various islands as cling-cling, chango, chinchilín, and iguana bird. The locals, and especially tour guides in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 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[not in citation given] on the island, hence the name iguana bird. In areas where Greater Antillean grackles are less prevalent, such as some parts of Mexico, guides have different names for the bird.[not in citation given]
- BirdLife International (2012). "Quiscalus niger". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Bond, James (1993). Birds of the West Indies (fifth ed.). Houghton-Mifflin. ISBN 978-0618002108.
- Gill, F.; Donsker, D., eds. (2014). "IOC World Bird List". IOC World Bird List (v 4.2). doi:10.14344/IOC.ML.4.2.
- Jaramillo, Alvaro; Burke, Peter (1999). New World Blackbirds: The Icterids. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691006802.
- Campo-Flores, Arian (12 August 2012). "To Battle Iguanas, Puerto Rico Has New Plan: Put Them on Menu". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
- "Greater Antillean Grackle". oiseaux-birds.com. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
- "What is a Grackle?". 10000birds.com. 27 November 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Quiscalus niger.|
|Wikispecies has information related to: Quiscalus niger|
- BirdLife species factsheet for Quiscalus niger
- Greater Antillean grackle videos, photos, and sounds at the Internet Bird Collection
- Greater Antillean grackle photo gallery at VIREO (Drexel University)
- Greater Antillean grackle species account at NeotropicalBirds (Cornell University)