|Great-tailed Grackle. Lindo Lake, California. February 9, 2014. Greg Gillson.|
I saw a few Tricolored Blackbirds at Lindo Lake when I visited two weeks ago. But in many areas where they used to be common in southern California, they are now gone. The reason? Apparently Great-tailed Grackles out-compete them.
Noisy and brash, Great-tailed Grackles were primarily found in Mexico and Central America with populations in the US only in Texas and an outlying population in Arizona up to the 1960's. Due to agricultural irrigation, starting in the 1970's, the population of these large grackles expanded. Today they reach from Louisiana to California and are regular vagrants from Minnesota to Oregon.