Illustrator Christina Mattison Ebert shares depictions and information on coastal birds
There generally are two types of people who reside on the Texas Gulf Coast — those who hate grackles and those who love them. Whether you believe them to be a nuisance or blessing, grackles are a staple of the region and protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Personally, I fall into the pro-grackle camp, especially with regard to the great-tailed grackle. The males of this species sport exquisite iridescent black feathers and sizable fan-like tails that they can actually fold in half. Perhaps the most riveting feature of the great-tailed grackle is its infamous vocalizations, which I have heard likened to everything from a broken radio to a rusted gate.
FUN FACT: Female great-tailed grackles weigh in at about half the size of males and are more likely to survive when young because they require less food to thrive.