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21 Mar 2020.  Baldwin co., AL.   <1 mile from Mobile Bay

Hi, All.   😞 Today,  I noted a large flock of 60-70 grackles (and possibly a few Red-Winged Blackbirds--ID'd by ear only) fly and roost for several minutes in the uppermost branches of surrounding trees.  When they flew overhead, their tails were long & large, and unfurled into a shallow V at the end.  I ID'd them as Boat-Tailed, but ebird popped up with an error message calling them "Infrequent".   On AllAboutBirds and ebird, I listened to the calls of each of the 2 species and they did sound more like Common Grackle (but please see Question #1 below). 

So my questions: 

1--Are the calls of the 2 species as different (as they sounded to me) on ebird/llAboutBirds? 

2--Do Boat-Taileds also aggregate in huge flocks (and with other "black-birds") like Common?

3) Do the 2 species socialize/roost/flock together?

4)  Regardless of the species of the birds I saw, why would ebird state Boat-Taileds as "Infrequent" here?  We are coastal and we have them here year-round. 

5) Would not the hugely long tail showing an obvious V shape in flight suggest Boat-Tailed? 


Thanks, everybody.  🙂 

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I the birds sounded like Common Grackles, that is probably what they were.


  1. Yes, the calls of the 2 species are noticeable different.
  2. Yes, they do congregate in flocks, but probably not as big of flocks as Common Grackles
  3. I can imagine they do, like many other blackbirds and grackles
  4. eBird may have labeled it that because of how big the flock you saw was. 
  5. Common Grackles have a V-shaped tail too.
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