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Submitted By

Sharon Gagliardi

Tampa, FL 33615


I believe it was a Grackle (had yellow eye) with two broad white tail feathers (pics avail, sorry for quality). I saw another Grackle a half- hour later with a white wing feather (no pic). There has been a flock of them around for a couple of weeks.


Black Colored Bird With White Feathers On Tail (Grackle?)

Black colored bird with white feathers on tail (Grackle?)

71 replies on “Black colored bird with white feathers on tail (Grackle?)”

Kenneth says:

Just saw a male grackle (29Dec2013) in zip 33020 that was flecked with white and had two white tail feathers. A cousin to your bird?

Jini says:

January 26th 2014 in 20901…saw a grackle with a long white tail and partial white ring around back of neck.

Mark Miller says:

I have what appears to be a grackle with 2 white tail feathers on either side zip 52639

Annie says:

I have just seen what I think is a Grackle at my birdbath and it has a white tail! I’m in Kansas and have never seen this before. I have lots of Grackles come to my feeders and bath, and there are lots of others outside, along with the white tailed bird. I also see Cowbirds and Starlings, as well as the songbirds. I am unable to confirm the yellow eye, but I think it is a Grackle.

Tammy says:

Today I saw a black bird with a white tail, never saw one before, it is about a size of a Grackle but it didn’t have the different colors on it when the sun hits it like a Grackle.

i saw a black bird with white tail feathers in my yard .i spend a lot of time outside feeding the wildlife and had never seen one .i have a clear picture of the bird on my phone .i cant down load it on my computer .if interested in having a pic i can sent it please contact me at 2103004093 thanks.

Terri Yeatman says:

I had one at my feeder today, so beautiful I had never seen one before.

Arthur Brown says:

Saw one today in my garden. A little smaller than most grackles I have seen. White tail with black stripe down the middle of the tail.
Brownish to golden head, with almost red at the base of the neck, and tiny white emblazonings at the shoulder end of the wings. Quite beautiful!

I have just spotted a Grackle with long solid white tail feathers. This bird was in with a flock of regular grackles feeding at my bird feeder on my balcony in West Seneca, New York. This is the very first time I have seen a Grackle like this. Trying to get a picture.

Peter rosenholm says:

Rhode Island, large grackles at my feeder with white feathers on sides an back of the head. Some on sides looked like rings with with circles and black dot in the center. 3-13-17.

CF says:

I have seen this bird at my feeder the last two years. Always this time in the season. Comes in with the other grackles. Looks like a large grackle with white center tail feathers with black on the ends. The feathers on the back of its head are a very pronounced iridescent blue. Iit has a white collar in the back of its neck that shows only when it puffs up. The white on the neck of the bird that was here last year was a full ring front and back that was always visible…would love to know what this is… Centerport ,NY

Ava Johnson says:

Hi CF, this is called leucism. It is a condition where an animal lacks some pigmentation, causing white, or lighter than normal fur/feathers/skin.

Paula Wilson says:

Well it has made it’s way to North Central Massachusetts. It is at my feeder this morning, white ring around neck, white tail feathers, long straight black bill. Hanging out with the red wing black birds, grackles and cowbirds

Ted Monkman says:

Stonewall, Manitoba Canada. Had one grackle? with a solid white tail among the other grackles that feed in our tree feeder. Looked it up in our bird book but no luck. Glad to see others have seen one too. Is this a mutation of some sort?

Ava Johnson says:

Hi Ted, this is most likely a condition known as leucism. Leucism is where an animal lacks some pigmentation, causing white or lighter than normal areas of the body.

Pauline B Calvert says:

Many grackles at the feeders but one spectacular one with two long white tail feathers.
Newcastle on

Rebecca Westra says:

Just had a lovely grackle at the feeder in South Florida with 2 white tail feathers….maybe it’s a new breed!

Ava Johnson says:

Hi Rebecca, this might be one of two things. The bird you saw could have been attacked by something and lost a few of its tail feathers, then when they regrew, they were white. If that is the case then during its next molt the feathers should go back to normal. It could also be a condition known as leucism. Leucism is a condition where an animal is missing some pigmentation. In a bird, that causes white feathers. Hope this helped!

MJ says:

Just saw a grackle with white tail in De Pere WI 54115

Alison says:

I just saw a bird at my feeder with an all black body and white feathers in the middle of the tail. Zip code 45458 Ohio

Lisa says:

These birds apparently are leucistic, which is partial albinism. Very cool, I never knew about this until I saw one recently in Aurelius, NY (a grackle) & started searching for an ID.

Noel Roebuck says:

My wife and I saw a common grackle in Austin,Texas with a white body and dark wings and tail

Barbara Zorzie says:

I have had the same here in northwestern PA, Lake Erie. Black bird with white tail feathers, seen for the first time this month. I wasn’t sure if it was a species, or just a black bird with anomaly.

Barbara says:

I’ve lived in Central PA for 20 years…this type of blackbird was spotted this morning by my husband …a large blackbird with horizontal band of white feathers across the tail.
We’ve never seen this before. I will keep my eyes on the trees and be camera ready!

thomas rocco says:

June 24, 2017 4:40pm
My wife and i just saw a white tailed grackle that also has some white spots on its wing and sides. The spots are small, but the tail is prominent. I saw it earlier today but then we thought it might have been a matter of sunlight causing a misperception. I tried to get a picture but failed so far. I am hoping it will be back at our feeders. It may well be a juvenile since it was being fed by an adult all black grackle. Suet from our feeder on our deck.
what fun.

dorry norris says:

Saw one on our deck in Ithaca NY about 3 weeks ago. Some one posted a perfect picture.

Lorri Harding says:

Saw what appears to be a female grackle with one white tail feather. Feeding in my backyard in Gilbert,Az.This is the second siting of this Bird this year.

Gail Smith says:

Saw what appeared to be a grackle with white collar and white tail feathers under the feeder this morning. Zanesville, Ohio.

James Calvert says:

In my back yard, I saw a black bird with two white feathers in the middle of it’s tail. in a group of solid black birds. March 19th, Harrogate, Tennessee.

John Gillenwater says:

My wife and I saw what appears to a common grackle amongst a flock of grackles with a white body and black head in the back yard! we live in southeast Iowa in Cedar county.

Kimberly says:

Just saw what appears to be a red winged black bird only with a yellowish band on the wings instead of red. This bird also has white and black tail feathers. We live in Sand Springs, Oklahoma.

Rebecca says:

Just saw a white tailed crackle at feeder, it also had a few white dots on wings and back of neck. Got fought off guard or would have gotten photo of it.

Just saw one myself and got a video of it. White ring around the neck, white blotches on tops of the shoulders and white tail feathers

Gindy51 says:

We had what might be a grackle with white side tail feathers. It was in our small forest in SE IN this morning. Nothing else in the Sibley bird book matches what we saw mainly due to location.

Elizabeth Small says:

Another striking sighting of what appeared to be a black grackle with a white tail and full white collar on my front lawn in Huntington!! Not with other birds except some robins on the lawn. Wish I had taken a photo and hope to see this beautiful bird again soon.

Uncle Bill says:

Has anybody officially confirmed this is a leucistic garble.
It is in my yard at the feeder. Townsend, MA, north central Massachusetts on the New Hampshire border.

Andrea Guthrie says:

Grackle with white center tail feathers in my backyard in Palmetto Florida. Flew away before I could grab my binoculars.

Auntie T says:

I just saw this same bird – looks like a grackel but has a white tail. I have never seen this before and called my husband to come have a look too. There was another grackel with this one and they were hopping around the yard together. So interested to know what this is and so happy that others have seen it as well! We are near Niagara Falls Ontario.

Mitzi Lavecchia says:

Just had white tailed grackle in our backyard Sarasota Florida July 1st 2018. We’ve had hundreds of grackles over the last year but this is the first white-tailed one ever.

Nancy Clark says:

Good morning, from Concord NH.
Just got back from my morning walk and saw a Grackel with a stripe of white down it’s tail feather. The rest of the tribe had solid tail feathers.

Pam says:

Saw for the first time today at backyard feeder in western Massachusetts, a grackle with white mid-tail feathers and a white or light tip on beak. Does anyone know with what frequency this occurs? Do environmental factors play a part?

Ava Johnson says:

Hi Pam, this is most likely leucism. Leucism is a condition where an animal lacks some pigmentation, in birds this causes white feathers. Animals are born with leucism.

Deborah says:

Here in Massachusetts again, this time in Cambridge by Blair Pond. I can’t confirm it was a grackle because of the distance but it was a large black bird with white central tail feathers and on the back of the wing.

wayne mackey says:

I just saw a black bird with black & white tail feathers & dark beak in our yard with our bird feeders
. Fayetteville AR

Tammy Smith says:

I saw one yesterday at my feeders hillsboro ohio first time I ever saw one

KP says:

Just had a Common Grackle with white tail feathers at our feeder in Portland, ME. Very different very cool!

Kim McLean says:

Have had a white tailed Grackle in our yard for the last 3 days. It is with a group of Grackles. I have never seen one before! Pretty neat!

Jane Minielly says:

Grand Bend On
Had a white tailed grackle at our feeder this afternoon. made grackle sounds.

Diane says:

In lower Michigan I’ve had a grackle the last five years with white feathers in its tail. I thought this was unusal until I read the other comments.

Mike says:

June 25 2019 Kitchener, Ontario Canada. I have the blackbird with 2 white tail feathers at my feeder.

Mark McLean says:

I live on Mason-Dixon Line (Pa/Md). I just saw a black bird the size of a grackle (kinda looks like) with white bands middle each wing, and long white feathers down each side of its black tail. The tail was approx 5 or 6 inches and semi-fan like. I think there was also some white mixed in its breast, but hard to tell as it had just bathed.

Lynda Button says:

We are in the NY Finger Lakes, above Keuka Lake and we had one show up a few days ago. He comes to the bird feeders with other crackles. It has a white spot ion its forehead and white tail feathers. The tail feathers are semi-fan like, same as the above comment describes. We are so intrigued by this unique bird!

I had a grackle at my feeder with a few others, but this one had a white body and black head. Yellow eyes. In Clare, MI. Wish I could leave a picture here.

Nancy Hebb says:

In a flock of grackles: same size, shape, bill as the rest was one with pure white in center of tail. No other white feathers.

Stephen says:

Saw what appeared to be a small grackle by a mcdonalds in the grass this afternoon. Couldnt see its eyes and didnt have shiny coat.. was black with solid white tail and complete white collar. Beautiful bird, and will try to get picture of it if i see it again

Barb Smith says:

We just saw one in the backyard tonight. Bloomington, IL. Big white cowel neck and very white tail feathers. Size of a grackle. Finding something online that it is a Leucistic Grackle (partial albino). Have 3 photos, but not great ones.

Gary Sporer says:

Saw one similar to this description this week in Garden, MI in Upper Peninsula. We have a large number of grackles as well.

v says:

Have had a white-collared Grackle at my feeders for a few weeks. Never saw one before, in upstate NY.

Ralph Roza says:

Just saw one in my backyard. Omaha, Nebraska.

Judy Ashburn says:

I discovered a grackle that’s been eating at my feeders for the past week. I had to do a double take. Mine looks exactly like a common grackle, but with at least one very white tail feather. I’m in central Virginia.

Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hi Judy, As with most reports on this page, your bird is indeed a COmmon Grackle with a pigment anomaly. You can learn more about color variants, such as those with white feathers, here.

Bob Mayville says:

I had one at my feeder and bird bath 6/14/2020 am

Marianne Frymus says:

Had grackle with partial white collar and white tail feather at our feeder in Silver Spring, MD

Eva Babic says:

Just saw a grackles with 2 white tail feathers. Have never seen one before! I dont normally like grackles. They are pigs at the feeders and will chase the other birds away. But, this guy’s was pretty. 6-27-20 Bond County, Illinois

Dana S Aponte says:

Hi everyone! Just had a grackle with two white middle tail feathers. We were all so excited to see this bird on our ladder feeder, really pretty! We’re in the town Walkerton Ontario which is Midwest

Perry Johnson says:

I just saw a black bird with a single white tail feather or tag in oklahoma city what does this mean

Mary Hosford says:

Zip code 33710 saw a black bird (grackle I think) with bright white tail feathers at my feeder.

Michelle Renelt says:

We just had one at our feeder on the Gulf Coast of Florida near Sarasota. It has a partial white collar and side white tail feathers with a dark eye… not the typical eye of a Grackle. The rest of the bird is black. I have a great picture of it that I posted in a separate thread. If anyone has confirmed the name of the bird we’d love to know.

Holly Grant, Project Assistant says:

Hi Michelle, These birds with white patches simply have some form of leucism or albinism, which is an abnormality in the way pigment is deposited in the feathers. Many species in North America have been observed with white patches, and the patches vary in size and location among individuals. If you saw a bird that looks like a grackle but has odd white patches, it is probably a grackle with leucism. You can learn more about color variants here.

BeagleMom says:

just saw two grackles in my front yard…..thought it was the sunlight making one look like the tail was white. watched them bebop around the yard, and yup, white tail on the one…. how cool….. Blairsville,GA here…..

Jean says:

I have a blackbird in my yard with a white tail zip code 21861

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