Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Least Concern

Nicaraguan Grackle (Quiscalus nicaraguensis)


French: Quiscale du Nicaragua German: Nicaraguagrackel Spanish: Zanate nicaragüense

Quiscalus nicaraguensis

Salvin and Godman

, 1891,

Momotombo, Lake Managua, Nicaragua




S Nicaragua (shores of L Managua and L Nicaragua) and adjacent N Costa Rica (L Caño Negro, on R Frío).

Descriptive notes

Male 29 cm, 94 g; female 24 cm, 58 g. Male is black with marked violet and green gloss, gloss more violaceous on underparts, tail-coverts and tail; tail long and strongly... read more


Song by male during display a series of accelerated ascending whistles, also a descending “kleeep”... read more


Open lakeshores, riverbanks, marshes and wet cattle pastures.

Food and feeding

Feeds on wild seeds, also insects and other arthropods; probably also small vertebrates. Forages mostly on ground. Follows grazing cattle,... read more


Season Mar–Sept (Costa Rica). Monogamous or polygynous. Breeds in small colonies, with up to ten nests together in trees and shrubs near... read more


Apparently resident. Possibly some short seasonal movements.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Lake Nicaragua Marshes Secondary Area. Uncommon to locally common. Relatively poorly known. Estimated extent of... read more

Recommended citation

Fraga, R. (2020). Nicaraguan Grackle (Quiscalus nicaraguensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 23 January 2020).