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 Common Grackle

Status in Michigan
Common Transient summer resident

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Common Grackle.

Use the links below to view the Common Grackle reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View Common Grackle sightings.
Common Grackle Archives Reports
Fall 2003 25260
Spring 2003 379
Winter 02-03 17
Fall 2002 535
Summer 2002 111
Spring 2002 246
Winter 01-02 135043
Fall 2001 912
Summer 2001 4062
Spring 2001 1272
Winter 00-01 18
Fall 2000 3078
Summer 2000 47
Spring 2000 370
Winter 00-99 105075
Fall 1999 1230
Spring/Summer 1999 24

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Common Grackle

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Common Grackle
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Common Grackle
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Quiscalus quiscula versicolor Vieillot
Bronzed Grackle (A.O.U. 1998: Common Grackle)

Common summer resident; somewhat less abundant in the Upper Peninsula than in the south.

First authoritatively listed for Michigan by Sager (1839 : 414).

SPRING.-The species is found in the southern counties by the middle of March and reaches the Upper Peninsula in late March.

Lower Peninsula.-L. W. Campbell (1940: 209) noted the main flight through the Toledo-Erie Marsh area during the second week of March, and gave March 11 as the average date for 13 years. Swales (1903: 37) re- corded arrival in the Detroit area at about the same time; he noted 300 on March 24, 1904. The species is occasionally reported by late February in the vicinity of Ann Arbor; on February 20, 1931, 15 were seen there by N. A. Wood, who also listed the species as a common migrant in Berrien County (N. A. Wood, 1922: 20-21). In Calhoun County Walkinshaw has found the Bronzed Grackle by the middle of March or somewhat later. G. A. Ammann listed it from the Prairie Farm, Alicia, Saginaw County, on April 2, 1940, and N. A. Wood recorded it in numbers on Beaver Is- land, Charlevoix County, by early May (11 on May 4; 15 on May 5, 2023).

Upper Peninsula.-Christofferson has noted individuals at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, before the end of March, greater numbers in late March or April (1 on March 21,1938; 25 on March 23,1938; 75 on April 14, 2023). S. S. Gregory, Jr., collected a specimen in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, on May 19, 1921, and N. A. "Wood (1933: 723) saw 2 individuals at Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, on May 4. Laurence Dayton first recorded the species on Isle Royale during the spring of 1937 on May 16, noting it occasionally until his departure on May 24.

SUMMER.-The species is found nesting from the latter part of April to the first week in July.

Lower Peninsula.-In the Detroit area, Swales (1903: 37) listed the Bronzed Grackle as an abundant summer resident. On June 9, near Ann Arbor, J. Van Tyne (1924: 168-69) banded 4 young in a nest placed about a foot above the water in a clump of bulrushes. P. W. Rapp (1931: 21) has noted nests in the vicinity of Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, between April 30 (1903, nest with 5 eggs) and May 18, (1899, nest with 5 eggs). N. A. Wood (1912o: 186) saw 3 Bronzed Grackles on Charity Island, Huron County, on July 6, and 20 on July 10. Chaney (1910: 275) found a few pairs breeding at Upper Hamlin Lake, Mason County, and Walkinshaw discovered a nest with 3 eggs at Red Oak, Oscoda County, on June 24, 1933. N. A. Wood saw Bronzed Grackles daily on Beaver Island, Charlevoix County, during the latter part of June, 1922 and 1925; in the vicinity of Douglas Lake, Cheboygan County, Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937) found them common, noting a nest with 5 young on July 2.

Upper Peninsula.-The species was found to be a fairly common summer resident on Les Cheneaux Islands, Mackinac County, by J. Van Tyne (1923: 23). N. A. Wood (1914: 67) listed the species as a rare breeder at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, 1914, when he found a nest there (young able to fly July 7). Christofferson recorded a nest with 5 eggs on May 23, 1926, at Munuscong Bay, Chippewa County. Brodkorb discovered a nest with 5 young at Seney, Schoolcraft County, on June 10, 1938. Bryens has noted young birds of the year at McMillan, Luce County, by June 24 (1939) and recorded a nest with one young there on May 31, 1938. The species was occasionally observed at Whitefish Lake, Alger County, where fledglings were seen on June 7 (N. A. Wood, 1918: 10). F. M. Gaige (1914: 85) saw the species in Dickinson County throughout July, noting the first fledglings on July 16. In the Huron Mountains of Marquette County, S. S. Gregory, Jr. (1929: 181), listed the species as a rather common summer resident.

FALL.-The southward migration occurs chiefly in September and October, lasting until early October in the Upper Peninsula and until mid- October or somewhat later in southern counties.

Upper Peninsula.-Fargo saw several Bronzed Grackles on Isle Royale, August 31, and a few September 8, 1924; N. A. Wood noted one there on October 8 and 10, 1929. A flock of 500 was seen by Christofferson at Marquette, on October 2, 1932, and F. M. Gaige (1914: 85) noted a rapid de- crease in numbers present at Brown Lake, Dickinson County, after August 15, and recorded only a few after August 24. At Sault Ste Marie, Chippewa County, Christofferson saw 400 on August 26, 1927, and 200 on October 1,1932. Bryens has recorded large numbers at McMillan, Luce County;560 on September 1, 1940; 800 on September 11, 1938; 1600 on October 2, 1941; and 1000 on October 4, 1939.

Lower Peninsula.-Large flocks of Bronzed Grackles were noted in Charlevoix County by J. Van Tyne (1925: 622) on July 29; and Trautman recorded 40 at Houghton Lake, Roscommon County, on October 10, 1938, and 10 on October 28. E. E. and H. A. Olsen saw 200 at Mud Lake, Calhoun County, on August 12, 1934; Gibbs (1885: 119) noted departure from Kalamazoo County between October 15 and 20, and F. W. Rapp (1931:21) , in the same county, near Vicksburg, twice recorded the species as late as November 22 (1914 and 1922). The species is still found commonly in the Ann Arbor area in October, and one was seen there by Trautman on November 26, 1937. Swales (1903: 37) noted departure from the Detroit area in late October, and recorded considerable numbers in mid-October (500 on October 16, 1912; 250 on October 22, 2023). In the Erie marsh, Monroe County, Trautman listed a total of 885 on September 13 and 14, 1932, and in this and the neighboring Toledo (Ohio) area, L. "W. Camp- bell (1940: 209) has found most of the birds leaving in the last week of October (average date: October 24).

WINTER.-The Bronzed Grackle apparently winters in small numbers in the southern counties. F. W. Rapp (1931: 21) noted it on January 10, 1905, January 18, 1922, and February 20, 1925, at Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County. Fargo and others (1927: 35) saw 1 at Jackson, on December 25; Hankinson (1926: 38) noted 1 at Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County, on December 25; and J. and C. Van Tyne (1928: 50) observed 2 near Ann Arbor on December 26. Other winter records from Ann Arbor include an individual seen by Thomas H. "Weller on January 6,1934, and 1 by F. M. Gaige on January 1, 1935.

Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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