The great-tailed grackle Quiscalus mexicanus was introduced by Aztec Emperor Auitzotl beyond its native range in 16th century Mexico. Haemig (2011) provides valuable details on the transport, introduction, establishment, and spread of this species. However, here I argue that while this is an interesting account of a historical bird translocation, this is not the reason why this species has undergone one of the greatest range expansions of any native North American species during the 20th century. Fossil records indicate that the species was already present in areas further north before this historical translocation. Moreover, it is a very plastic species and human commensal. Therefore, the northward expansion of this tropical species has been aided by anthropogenic habitat changes rather than a consequence of the active translocation by the Aztec Emperor Auitzotl.
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Vol. 58 • No. 2