The not-so-common traits of the common grackle

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Photo: Lise Lafond

The common grackle has a caw that sounds like a rusty metal gate and iridescent plumage when the sun hits it the right way.

Looking at these black birds, we can easily confuse them with their cousins from the icteridae family, which contains around 100 species, including blackbirds and cowbirds. When a ray of sun hits their plumage, however, a miracle happens. Shades of blue and violet appear on their head and neck, and copper coats the rest of their body.