Yes, there are grackles in North Dakota, as they are found in large numbers throughout much of North America, particularly in the open and semi-open areas east of the Rocky Mountains. A common gackle, you see, is also known as a crow.

The common grackle nests in man-made structures, or in other cavities, including bird houses. Grackles often nest in colonies, which may become as large as a hundred pairs. Grackles are permanent residents in much of their range, but those in the northern areas will migrate in flocks, generally to southeastern parts of the United States.

Grackles forage for their food on the ground, or in shallow bodies of water, and it is not unusual for them to steal food from other birds. Grackles are omnivorous. They eat berries, eggs, insects, frogs, grain, lizards, minnows, and even small birds and mice. They can often be found at picnic sites, waiting for someone to drop found onto the ground, or to walk away from food left on tables or in trash cans. At birdfeeders, grackles prefer to eat seeds that have fallen to the ground.

Rather than being threatened by human expansion into forested areas, grackles benefit from urban sprawl, largely due to their opportunistic nature.

There are several types of grackles found in North America, including the purple grackle, the bronzed grackle, and the great-tailed grackles. Bronzed grackles are also known as crow blackbirds, while the great-tailed grackle may also be known as the blackbird, crow jackdaw.

Grackles are among the most significant agricultural pests in North America, as they can destroy sprouting corn fields. They are also known to roost in such large numbers that flocks of grackles can overwhelm trees or buildings. The buildup of grackle feces can lead to structural damage, while the uric acid in their droppings can lead to corrosion of stone, metal, masonry, and paint finishes.


  • Kingdom: animalia
  • Phylum: chordata
  • Class: aves
  • Order: passeriformes
  • Family: icteridae
  • Genus: quiscalus
  • Species: Q.quiscula