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.