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Boat-tailed Grackle Quiscalus major

Flight call description  A dry, husky "khek" and a lower, more variable "gherk".  Also, gives a nasal, descending "pierh" during the breeding season.


Fig.1. New Jersey July 11, 2001 (MO).

"Khek" call from bird in flight with Barn Swallow in the background.



Fig.2. New Jersey September 30, 2000 (WRE).

"Gherk" call from bird in flight.



Fig.3. North Carolina July 5, 2001 (MO).

"Pierh" call from female in flight.


Examples     Diurnal


Similar species "Khek" call apparently very similar to Great-tailed Grackle's "khek". Common Grackle's "ghep" is similar but higher-pitched and usually descending. "Gherk" call similar to some variations of Great-tailed Grackle's "pwuk" but is higher-pitched and does not have Great-tailed's characteristic hollow sound. Similar to Yellow-headed Blackbird but louder and huskier and with more of a descending quality. Lower and huskier than other blackbirds. See Common Grackle.


Behavior Primarily a diurnal migrant. Gives flight call regularly while perched and in flight during the day. Not know to give flight call at night. "Pierh" call may be given primarily in breeding season.