Species by Family: Blackbirds and Orioles

95 species, exclusively American.

Blackbirds and their kin (family Icteridae) are medium-sized passerines with straight, pointed bills.

adult
Icterus gularis
9" (23 cm). Robin-sized. Bright orange-yellow with black face and throat, upper back, wings, and tail. Similar to Hooded Oriole but larger, with heavier bill and orange-yellow shoulders. Male and...
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adult
Icterus graduacauda
9" (23 cm). Robin-sized. Male greenish yellow with black head, wings, and tail. Females slightly duller and smaller. Immatures lack black on head.
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adult male
Icterus galbula
7-8 1/2" (18-22 cm). Male has black head, back, wings, and tail; orange breast, rump, and shoulder patch. Female olive-brown, with dull yellow-orange underparts and two dull white wing bars.
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adult male
Icterus wagleri
8.5-9” (22-23 cm). One of the larger orioles, the Black-vented is midway between a Baltimore Oriole and an American Robin in size. It has more black than any oriole native to North America, being...
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adult male
Quiscalus major
Males 16-17" (41-43 cm); females 12-13" (30-33 cm). Tail very long and keel-shaped. Male black, iridescent blue on back and breast; yellow or brown eyes. Female smaller, brown with paler breast....
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adult male
Dolichonyx oryzivorus
6-8" (15-20 cm). Breeding male largely black, with white rump and back, dull yellow nape. Female and winter male rich buff-yellow, streaked on back and crown. Short, finch-like bill. Female Red-...
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adult male
Euphagus cyanocephalus
8-10" (20-25 cm). Robin-sized. Male is solid black with purplish-blue iridescent head and yellow eyes. Female is gray with dark eyes. Similar to Rusty Blackbird, but male Rusty has faint green...
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adult male, Eastern
Molothrus aeneus
8 1/2" (22 cm). Male bronze-black with bluish-black wings and tail. Prominent red eye can be seen at close range. Female similar but duller. Brown-headed Cowbird smaller, with a distinctive brown...
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adult male
Molothrus ater
6-8" (15-20 cm). Male black with glossy brown head; female plain gray-brown. Both have a finch-like bill.
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adult male
Icterus bullockii
7-8 1/2" (18-22 cm). Male crown, eye line, throat stripe, back, wings, and central tail black; large white wing patch; much of head, eyebrow, underparts, and outer tail feathers orange. Female olive...
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adult male Coastal (Purple)
Quiscalus quiscula
12" (30 cm). Jay-sized. Long, wedge-shaped tail displaying a longitudinal ridge or keel when in flight. Appears all black at a distance but is actually highly iridescent, with colors varying from...
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adult, breeding
Sturnella magna
9-11" (23-28 cm). Robin-sized. A stocky, brown-streaked bird with white-edged tail; bright yellow throat and breast, black V crossing breast. Western Meadowlark is very similar, but paler above,...
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adult male
Quiscalus mexicanus
Male, 16-17" (41-43 cm); female, 12-13" (30-33 cm). Tail very long and keel-shaped. Male black, with iridescent purple on back and breast. Female smaller, brown with a pale breast. Eyes always yellow...
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adult male, Texas
Icterus cucullatus
7-7 3/4" (18-20 cm). Male yellow to orange, with black wings crossed with 2 white bars, black tail, and black throat and upper breast. Bill thin and curved; tail long and graduated. Female olive-gray...
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adult male
Icterus spurius
7" (18 cm). Bluebird-sized. Adult male has chestnut body and black head, back, wings, and tail. Female yellow-green; immature male similar to female, but has black throat.
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adult male
Agelaius phoeniceus
7-9 1/2" (18-24 cm). Smaller than a robin. Male is black with bright red shoulder patches. Female and young are heavily streaked with dusky brown. See Tricolored Blackbird.
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adult male, breeding
Euphagus carolinus
9" (23 cm). In spring males are black, with a bluish and greenish iridescence; females are dark gray. In fall they are much more rust-brown, especially head, breast, and back. Conspicuous pale yellow...
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adult male
Icterus parisorum
7 1/2-8 1/4" (19-21 cm). Male has black head, mantle, throat, and central breast area; bright lemon-yellow underparts, rump, and outer tail feathers. Wings, central tail feathers, and wide terminal...
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adult male
Molothrus bonariensis
7-8" (18-20 cm). Male purplish black glossed with blue above, shining purplish black below. Female grayish brown, paler below. Bill large, conical, and black. Eyes dark.
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adult
Icterus pectoralis
8" (20 cm). Bright orange with black throat, wings, and tail; white patches on wings; black spots on sides of breast. Unlike many orioles, males and females have very similar plumage.
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