How to tell the difference between Grackle and Starling

Although they look extremely similar, Common Grackles and European Starlings are two different species, belonging to different genera in the Sturnidae family. In fact, as you’ll see below, they’re very different in size, voice, habitat and more! With this in mind, we’ve put together this guide to highlight the differences between the species to help you tell them apart easier.

The clearest contrasts among grackles and starlings are that starlings have dim eyes, pinkish legs, and a short, slim yellow bill (rearing birds), while the normal grackle has dull legs, dim bill, and yellow eyes. Grackles are likewise commonly bigger than starlings and furthermore have longer tails.

These are the most effective ways to differentiate the two, despite the fact that there are more reasons – which we’ll go into beneath.

Main Differences Between Grackles and Starlings

If you’re trying to figure out if you have a grackle or starling in your backyard, it’s important that you know what they look like. The good news is, they aren’t exactly alike! Here are some differences to look for: -Grackles tend to be smaller than starlings. -Grackles have more black on their wings than other starlings. -Male starlings have white patches on their breast and neck, whereas male grackles do not. -Female grackles tend to have brown breasts; female starlings do not.

Differences Between Grackles and Starlings


Differences Between Grackles and Starlings


Where To Look First

The first thing to check when trying to differentiate these two species is their location. These birds live in North America, so if you’re looking at them in your backyard, it’s more than likely a grackle. If you spot one flying above skyscrapers or resting on power lines, however, it’s most likely a starling. This rule doesn’t always apply because some starlings are known to migrate south for the winter.

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The Wingtips

Starlings are often confused with grackles due to their similar shapes. The easiest way to distinguish them is by their wingtips. In general, starlings have pointed wingtips while grackles have rounded ones. When looking at images online or in person, hold your hand at arm’s length in front of your face and compare. If you can’t see them clearly enough for distinction, look for other indicators as well.



The Tail Feathers

Both species have long, pointed tail feathers. On a European Starling, these are located at the end of a shorter tail, whereas on an American Grackle they are located at the end of an even longer tail. So if you see birds with feather sticking out in different directions, with one having quite a bit more length than other—you’re likely looking at a starling. If both tails look about equal in length (while facing forward) you’re likely looking at grackles. This can be especially useful when trying to determine whether or not there is only one bird in question! (Grackles often travel in groups.) Also note that female European Starlings can appear slightly brownish from far away but tend to stick out because their white wingtips extend beyond their body profile. Female American Grackles usually appear as black-and-white birds from far away and never have any white markings extending beyond their bodies.


The Eyebrows

It’s not uncommon for people to misidentify a grackle for a starling based on physical characteristics. The easiest way to differentiate them is by their eyebrows. Starlings have dark brown, almost black eyebrows that are always more prominent than those of grackles. On average, starlings will have thicker eyebrows than most grackles. Remember: if your bird has jet-black eyebrows it’s probably not common nor European!

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Other contrasts

Normal Grackles are local to the US and will eat pretty much anything – they do, in any case, love to eat crops (predominantly corn). The brilliant, brilliant eyes these birds have, provide them with a statement of purpose. Grackles likewise will quite often go in enormous, uproarious gatherings. Females are like guys however less lustrous.

European Starlings fundamentally eat creepy crawlies and seeds, and assuming you’ve at any point had them at your feeders, you’ll know how rapidly they can clear them out. Starlings will likewise go in gatherings yet are by and large calmer when contrasted with the grackle – they can likewise be uproarious. Starlings are likewise not local to simply the United States.

European Starling

European Starling

At the point when it comes down to length, grackles can arrives at lengths of up to 20 inches, though starlings by and large just arrive at lengths of up to 12 inches. Grackles likewise have longer tails than starlings, the tail of a starling is generally more limited than their bodies without any examples or apparent markings. Grackle tails are here and there as long as the bird is tall and in flight show an orange fix.

Similarities between the Common Grackle and European Starling

Both the normal grackle and European starlings have a gleaming luminous plumage. Starlings look more like the grackle while in their colder time of year plumage, which they have dark bills, and their plumage turns out to be more spotted and less lively. The noses are comparative long and shape, however starlings will more often than not have somewhat longer and more slender bills.

They likewise keep an eye on both herd in enormous gatherings.

Common Grackle

Do grackles and starlings run together?

Indeed, when settling season is finished, the two starlings and grackles are known to sporadically run together. Which can make recognizable proof considerably more confounding.

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Are Grackles and Starlings a similar bird?

No, they are two unique types of birds. Normal Grackles are individuals from the Troupials and Allies family, and European Starlings are essential for the Starling family.

European Starling

Fascinating realities about the Common Grackle

  • The Common Grackle is important for the Troupials and Allies family (Icteridae) which has 105 types of birds in it. Species in this family can be found across North America and South America. Since these birds having sharp-tipped bills that they can open firmly, it enables them to cut and pry off the bark of trees or to open up delicate organic product.
  • Male and female grackles can by and large be recognized by the size of their bodies. This is on the grounds that they have sexual dimorphism – which is found in numerous types of birds, where the female is for the most part more modest than the male.
  • At the point when people are near their homes, grackles use caution calls to alarm different birds of the danger.
  • Very much like crows and ravens, grackles can perceive and recollect individual countenances of people. They can likewise imitate the hints of different types of birds and every so often even people.
  • Not at all like different birds that bounce while on the ground, grackles like to walk.
  • You’re substantially more liable to see a female normal grackle than a male. This is on the grounds that the grackle populace is substantially more bountiful with females, as their future is more prominent than the male as they require less food.

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