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Photo Submission

Submitted By

Susan Szeszol

River Grove, IL, United States


Leucistic birds


Common Grackle With White Tail Feathers

Common Grackle with white tail feathers.

61 replies on “Common Grackle with white tail feathers”

How rare is this bird? There’s one like this visiting my feeders …. right now.
Winnipeg Canada July 2019.

Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hi Terry, Birds can have white feathers for a few different reasons. Leucism is an abnormality in the deposition of pigment in feathers. It is a somewhat uncommon condition but not rare. White tail feathers in particular can also be the result of a close call with a predator. Occasionally during these instances the bird will lose some feathers and the new feathers sometimes grow in white and then change back to the normal color at the next regular molt. You can learn more about color variants on our Unusual Birds page.

Kevin Stuart says:

I had one in my yard today. I am shocked by this thread because I am nearly 60 and it was a first for me. Southeast shore of Lake St. Clair.

Kathleen says:

We are in our 60’s…first time ever seeing one today. Two center tail feathers white!

Jeffrey See says:

There is a white tailed grackle mixing in with the other common grackles in my yard today. The flock probably numbers in the hundreds and this bird stands out! It may be just my imagination but I think the other birds are somewhat intimidated by this variant…

Right now, April 2, 2020, I have a common grackle with one or two white tail feathers. Never seen this before. says:

Right now, April 2, 2020, I have a common grackle with one or two white tail feathers. Never seen this before

Harry Johnson says:

I submitted earlier about a common grackle with a white tail feather in my backyard. I forgot to mention I’m in Lakewood Ohio. April 2, 2020

L Park says:

I have been bird watching for 10+ yrs and used to seeing hundreds upon hundreds of grackles each year. I would consider a white tailed grackle to be a rare sighting especially on Easter Sunday which is when I saw one for the first time!

Edwin Senna says:

I have a grackle in my yard among 100s with white tail feathers and white ring around neck and a little white on belly also. Insain never thought. Florida

K cloud says:

I have one in my flock….
springfield Mo…

Phyllis Clemens says:

I just looked out the window and saw a grackle with white tail feathers…my search for what it might be led me here…I’ve never seen this before!

Robin says:

We have a common grackle at our feeder this morning with a large tuft of white feathers on the back of his neck. Could this also be the result of a fight followed by regrowth?

Ava Johnson says:

That could be leucism

Paul Stracener says:

Just saw a common grackle that had 2 white tail feathers that were symmetrically positioned such that black feathers were either side of each white feather. Very exciting to see even though grackles are my least favorite at the feeders.

Roger Henley says:

I had a white tailed grackle at my feeder this morning but besides the all white tail it had a white ring around it’s neck.
Is this normal?

Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hi Roger, This bird likely has a pigment abnormality of some kind. You can read more about this here.

Spotted a white tailed Grackle in Manahawkin ,NJ around 10Am. It also had a white ringed neck. Saw that someone else had seen one in Canada. Never heard of these before. Could Grackles be breeding with magpies?

Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hi Christopher, this is a pigment abnormality, such as leucism or albinism. You can learn more about color variants here.

Brandon says:

I had one like this in my yard this morning. Lake Orion, MI.

Nicole says:

We have one in our flock of grackles tonight in Utica, MI

Sue says:

Just saw one at my bird feeder in Oakdale, MN. Black tail feathers on the outside edges, then the white feathers, and then black in the middle. Very striking!

Kim says:

I had one in my yard this morning. My search led me here.
Southgate Michigan

Glenn Mac says:

I caught a great photo of one of these white-tailed common grackles meandering around in my backyard in Chenango County NY very early last spring. I only wish I knew how to share it here; unfortunately I don’t see an avenue to do so.

Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hi Glenn, Our Unusual Birds gallery is only available to Project FeederWatch participants, but anybody can add a photo to our public gallery (there is a “submit as a guest” option).

Kathy Mills says:

We saw one here in Berwick, ME for our first time ever! Very interesting and cool 🙂

Brian Koehn says:

Saw one today at Heritage Park in Taylor, MI.

KR says:

Saw one here on Long Island , NY this evening for the first time. Very striking!

Lee says:

Two here in Jupiter Fl. One with about 25% white feathers and one with a white wing.

Pam says:

I saw one at my bird feeders today. I’d never seen one before!! I’m in north central West Virginia.

Denise Haysbrook says:

We just saw one this morning, Rockledge, Florida, just one maybe two feathers together on the left side of the tail. Our bird feeder is just a couple of months in the garden so a great find.

Today I saw a female great-tailed grackle with splashes of white on her back feathers as if she had white paint splashed on her.

Sally Close says:

I have a male black Grackle that lives in my yard that has 2 white tail feathers. He is always with a female. It’s actually very cool because you see a thousand birds and they all look alike but he sticks out!! I live in the HOT desert in Phoenix, Arizona.

Bill Peterson says:

A juvenile grackle with one white tailfeather (the middle one).
Very bold. The parents are mildly scolding it.
Taber, Alberta

I have had this bird in my yard for last 2 days an wasn’t sure what kind it was …..I live in Elyria ,Ohio.

Patricia says:

This morning at one of my feeders in Lebanon PA I saw what I thought was a grackle, but its tail feathers were so white. I have never seen this before.

Holly Grant, Project Assistant says:

Hi Patricia, White markings on a birds that otherwise fits a species description, like your grackle, are usually the result of a pigment anomaly, such as leucism or albinism. You can learn more about these color variants here.

Julia Murphy says:

Saw a grackle today thanks to your id.

Geoffrey says:

I am in Greenwood Indiana and there is one of those In my backyard right no

Shell says:

Got a (bad) pic of one with just one white tailfeather at Texas State University today 🙂

Sylvia Mills says:

I have just seen two Grackles in my garden. Both were black with an all white Fan tail I have never seen these birds before in my garden. They were seeing off all the other birds on my feeders. I live in the south east of England I have never seen any birds like this. before. Do they survive in great Britain.

Barbara says:

Saw one in my backyard yesterday. First time ever!

Tom Richards jr says:

I’ve got a morning dove and a starling with white tail feathers that come every day

Shirley says:

Had one here in mid-Michigan this morning. I first saw one at my feeder at this time last Spring. Totally white tail. My camera has been busy!

Ann says:

I have one at my feeder here in Westfield Indiana. Had to look it up! says:

I’m in Goshen IN near the Michigan border and one has been around my feeder for a couple of days. One white feather on the topside of his tail. I’ve never seen this before

Don Ruge says:

Just saw the first ever for me in Kenosha, WI. It landed in a direction directly away from me and there were two bright white feathers that spread out with the tail as she approached the ground. It was shocking to me. As she walked around, those feathers lay at the top of the tail and this made the tail really stand out as she searched for food.

I say “she” because her colors were not as vibrant as the others in my yard.

alan says:

We have grackles, they seem a pest. We had one with white tail feathers this morning also, getting wife to look I noticed a baltimore oriole in the tree around feeders. 1st one ever for her and the 1st I’ve seen on Maryland eastern shore. Been here 27 years. the grackles are quite interesting and kind of cool looking to me. Happy Mothers Day

Randy Gilmour says:

We had one yesterday at the feeders. It had white tail feathers in the middle of the tail only. We are in Little Britain Ont..

Penny Landen says:

I’ve got one with a single white tail feather on his right. Edgewood Kentucky

Carol Wauters says:

This is the third or fourth year that we’ve had a grackle with white tail feathers at our feeders. I think it’s a different one each year, because there seems to be more white tail feathers this year. It’s really pretty when it flies. Every other feather is white. This is in the center of Iowa.

Zeev Drach says:

Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
I’ve seen yesterday, in our backyard, on a number of occasions, those mysterious grackles. Some had a white tail but others had “fancier” white coloring. I have one photo that shows one of them with white tail, as well as white belly, outer edge of the wing, and collar.

Don Fankhauser says:

There was one in my backyard for the last week 1 tail feather was white He also likes to pick on the other blackbirds

Donna M Vest says:

I live in Carlsbad Nm and tonight 8:03 PM is my first time seeing one.What a beautiful surprise.

Cat Dana says:

am amazed by this thread, as I am currently looking at one through my kitchen window in northeastern Ohio as I read this! It’s with other grackles & redwings. Every primary tail feather is solid white.

Damien says:

The last couple days, I’ve seen a grackle with a single, pure white wing feather eating at my feeders. He’s a beauty! Barrie, Ontario has so many grackles; and this was my first time ever seeing one like this! I’m 23 & have lived here my whole life, for reference. Here’s to (hopefully) seeing more in the future!

Joe Martin says:

I’ll be 78 late this month, my wife just turned 67. We have never seen a blackbird with white tail feathers. There is one in our back yard, which borders a nature preserve here in Banbcock Ranch FL. (southwest FL. This one has two perfectly white feathers on it’s tail. When it spreads its tail. it looksike two stripes.

J. Logan says:

We live in Western Kentucky and had a Gackle with beautiful solid white tail feathers at our bird feeding station today. It was a real beauty with a gorgeous green iridescent head and those white tail feathers. Such a blessing to see it.

Viera, Fl just south of the Cape
Common gracle with several central tail feathers in white bordered by black tail feathers. Beautiful irridescent body

Gerry Rogan says:

In the Hudson Valley – Orange, Ulster. Sullivan County area. Been here 30 years and I saw not one, but two for the first time ever. I saw more of them from behind – looked like a White Tail Deer. A few years back we had a couple of Killdeer nesting in the grass. They were pretty cool. Whenever we stepped anywhere near the nest, the Momma (I guess) would fake a broken wing to draw what she perceived as a predator away from the eggs.

Flo says:

I have two grackles with white tail feathers only on the left side in my yard. (June 6, 2023 in PA)

Trish says:

Saw Grackle with white tail feathers in Riviere Rouge Quebec yesterday

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