Monday, September 12, 2011


Icteridae is a family of passerine birds found in North, Central, and South America. There is a wide variety of variation between the different species of Icterids but all have long slender pointed beaks. Icteridae consists of 97 species in 27 genera, most of which are found in the tropical regions of Central and South America. North America has 23 species in 8 genera. The North American species and genera include:
Xanthocephalus- which consists of only the yellow-headed blackbird. Even though it is called a blackbird it is more closely related to meadowlarks then it is other new world blackbirds.
Agelaius and Euphagus- Angelaius consists of the tricolored blackbird and red-winged blackbird. While Euphagus is closely related to grackles and consists of the Brewer's blackbird and the rusty blackbird.
Dolichonyx- consists of just the bobolink which combines characteristics form multiple other genera.
Molothrus- consists of the cowbirds including the brown-headed cowbird, shiny cowbird and bronzed cowbird. All three species are parasitic nesters, laying their eggs in the nests of other birds and leaving the other birds to care for the chicks.
Quiscalus- grackles, including the common grackle, great-tailed grackle and the boat-tailed grackle. Grackles are larger then blackbirds with larger bills and a longer tail.
Sturnella- which consists of the eastern and western meadowlark. It is difficult to distinguish the difference between these two species in the field. If I was better at my bird calls I would probably have an easier time since most people say that their song is the easiest way to identify them.
Icterus- These are the Orioles including streak-backed, Bullock's, Baltimore, hooded, orchard, altamira, spot-breasted, Audubon's and Scott's orioles. These are the most colorful of all of the Icterids found in North America.


Cafe au lait said...

Gorgeous birds!

I played too. Mine are here and here.

Roger Owen Green said...

interesting array of birds!
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

photowannabe said...

Terrific shots of the beautiful birds.
I see plenty of cowbirds here on the West Coast. I find it strange that they are such awful parents.

Kay L. Davies said...

Wow, I've never seen a Bobolink.
We have plenty of red-wing blackbirds, but I'll never forget the first time I saw a yellow-headed blackbird. I thought I was imagining it. I had no idea such things existed.
Thanks for the photos today. I really enjoyed them.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Chronicles of Illusions said...

such great shots - I love coming here and learning so much

Jane and Chris said...

Sadly the Bobolink is in decline here. I love the call they have!
Jane x

Tina´s PicStory said...

Lovely :)

Leslie: said...

Intriguing array of some interesting the colours on them!

abcw team

Lisa said...

Oh my! Your bird captures are stunning. But the oriole takes the prize. Gorgeous color and detail.