Greater Antillean grackle

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Greater Antillean grackle
Quiscalus niger1.jpg
Puerto Rican subspecies
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)
Quiscalus niger map.svg
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.[2] 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.[3] They differ from the nominate Q. n. niger subspecies 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.[4] 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[5][not in citation given] on the island, hence the name iguana bird.[6] In areas where Greater Antillean grackles are less prevalent, such as some parts of Mexico, guides have different names for the bird.[7][not in citation given]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Quiscalus niger". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Bond, James (1993). Birds of the West Indies (fifth ed.). Houghton-Mifflin. ISBN 978-0618002108. 
  3. ^ Gill, F.; Donsker, D., eds. (2014). "IOC World Bird List". IOC World Bird List (v 4.2). doi:10.14344/IOC.ML.4.2. 
  4. ^ Jaramillo, Alvaro; Burke, Peter (1999). New World Blackbirds: The Icterids. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691006802. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ "Greater Antillean Grackle". Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "What is a Grackle?". 27 November 2009. 

External links[edit]