Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



Louis A. Somma, “Possible Addition of the Prairie Skink to the Diet of the Common Grackle,” from Nebraska Bird Review (June 1985) 53(2).


Copyright 1985 Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union. Used by permission.


On 8 June 1984, at the intersection of California Street and the Union Pacific railroad tracks, just west of Saddle Creek Road in Omaha, a Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscala) was seen flying approximately 2 m above the observer, with a large adult prairie skink, (Eumeces septentrionalis) (Reptilia; Sauria) in its bill. The Grackle had difficulty flying, since the skink was somewhat heavy and struggling violently, The Grackle dropped to the ground about 7 m away and released the lizard. The skink lay on its back, twitching slightly. The distal half of its tail was missing. The lack of male breeding colors and presence of a relatively stout abdomen during this season indicated that it was a gravid female. When I approached to within 3 m of the Grackle, it immediately grabbed the skink and flew away. This observation occurred at 1315. It is not known if the lizard was eventually ingested.