Birds of the World

COAST BIRDS
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WORLD BIRDS
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ANECDOTES

  Icterids
 
 
 

TRAITS
 Ratites
 Tinamous
 Cracids/Galli
 Waterfowl
   Screamers
   Ducks

 Penguins
 Loons
 Grebes
 Procellarids
   Albatrosses
   Petrels
   Storm-Petrels

Totipalmate Swm

   Tropicbirds
   Gannets/Boobies
   Pelicans
   Cormorants
   Anhingas
   Frigatebirds

 
Waders
   Herons
   Ibises
   Storks  

 NW Vultures
 Flamingos
 Raptors
 Gruiformes
   Buttonquail
   Bustards
   Cranes
   Rails

 Shorebirds
   Sandgrouse
   Plovers
   Oystercatchers
   Stilts
   Sandpipers
   Gulls/Terns
   Auks

 Pigeons
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 Turacos
 Cuckoos
 Owls
 Frogmouths
 Nightjars
 Swifts/Humbd
 Colies
 Coraciae

   Hornbills
   Hoopoes
   Trogons
   Rollers
   Kingfishers
   Bee-eaters
   Jacamars/Puffbd

 
Pici
   Honeyguides
   Woodpeckers
   Barbets/Toucans

PASSERINES
   NZ WRENS
   OW SUBOSC

      Broadbills
      Pittas

 NW SUBOSC
   NW Flycatchers

   Becards
   Cotingas
   Manakins
   Antbirds
   Ovenbirds
   Woodcreepers
   Antthrushes
   Tapaculos 

 OSCINES
 Lyre-/Scrub-birds
 Bowerbirds
 Aust. Wrens
 Honeyeaters
 Scrubwrens
 Aust. Robins
 Kinglets
 Shrikes
 Vireos
 Whistlers
 Corvids
 Birds-of-Paradse
 OW Orioles
 Cuckoo-shrikes
 Fantails
 Drongos
 Monarchs
 Bush-shrikes
 Wattle-eyes
 Vangas
 Waxwings
 Dippers
 Thrushes
 OW Flycatchers
 Starlings
 Mimids
 Nuthatches
 N Creepers
 Wrens
 Gnatcatchers
 Tits/Parids
 Larks
 Swallows
 Leaf-Warblers
 Bulbuls
 Cisticolas
 White-eyes
 Babblers
 OW Warblers
 Flowerpeckers
 Sunbirds
 OW Sparrows
 Accentors
 Pipits
 Estridids
 Weavers
 Whydahs
 9-prim. Oscines

   Fringillines
   Carduelines
   Hawaiian Honycrp
   NW Sparrows
   NW Warblers
   Tanagers
   Cardinals
   NW Blackbirds

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Passeriformes, Oscines, Passerida, Passeroidea - Icterids
 
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Passerida, Passeroidea, Nine-primaried Oscines
Family: Icterids
 
Images:   
Red-breasted Blackbird, Yellow-hooded Blackbird, Crested Oropendola, Icterids feeding
   
  Order Passeriformes - Perching Birds
   Suborder Passeres - "Oscines," Song Birds
Wiki     ToL     EoL
Wiki     ToL
  Passerines. Most passerines are smaller than members of non-passerine orders. They have a perching foot with three toes directed forward and the one (the hallux) backward with locking tendons to facilitate perching when their tendons are flexed. All passerines scratch by bringing the foot over the wing. Incubation ranges from 11 -21 days. Young are altricial - they hatch blind with little or no down - and nidicolous - spending 10-15 days or so in the nest.  Subsequent development is rapid and young approach adult mass at fledging. Parents provide care beyond fledging.
Oscines, Suborder Passeres, are our "song birds" with complex syringeal muscles used to produce varied and complex vocalizations.
Passerida. Radiation in Eurasia, Africa and North America (with later colonization of South America). Passerida have two humeral fossae (Corvida have one).
Passeroidea - herbivores (many seed-eaters) centered in the Palearctic and New World. Many are bright and sexually dimorphic.
Nine-primaried Oscines. Nine functional primaries in the wing.
 
  Family Icteridae – Troupials, Orioles, Meadowlarks,
       New World Blackbirds
, Caciques, Oropendolas,
       Cowbirds
Wiki     EoL
EXAMPLE
  97 (101-98) species, 26 genera. Icterids – New World. Greatest diversity found in the tropics. 
   Icterids are small to medium 9-primaried oscines. They usually have black as a predominant plumage color (many highlighted with red or yellow). The bill is usually straight and stout and is thrust into soft earth, fruit, under leaves, etc., then opened to pry the pierced object apart ("gaping"). The culmen is flattened and usually straight. They lack obvious rictal bristles. They have strong legs and feet. Icterids are found in grasslands, brush, marshes, open fields, tropical forests, etc. They often form mixed species flocks in winter and more northern populations are migratory, flying at night (Bobolinks are trans-equatorial migrants). Many of the blackbirds and orioles are social - living in flocks when not nesting - and some nest in colonies.
   The oropendulas, caciques, and troupials are arboreal, mainly fruit eaters. "Blackbirds," meadowlarks, grackles, and cowbirds forage on the ground and are relatively omnivorous. The straight-billed forms use their bill like starlings - they thrust it into earth or fruit and then open it as the feed. Most foraging is rather slow and methodical.
   Orioles tend to be monogamous. Caciques, oropendulas, grackles and marsh-nesting blackbirds are polygynous. Females may form a colony in a tree which is defended by the most aggressive male (giving him a "harem").
   Nests range from enormous pendant structures of the oropendulas to smaller pendant nests and open, cup-shaped nests. Some are on the ground, others in treetops - and some don't build nests. Most cowbirds and the Rice Grackle are social (brood) parasites, laying their eggs in the nests of a variety of New World passerines. Unlike cuckoos and viduines, cowbirds may lay in a variety of species' nests. They lack special adaptations (egg patterns, gape and tongue marking, etc.) to fool the hosts. Their eggs may even be slightly larger than those of the host but are laid early in the host's nesting cycle and have a short incubation period so that young cowbirds obtain early feeding and grow rapidly, often crowding the host's young from the nest.
   In those icterids that rear their own young, the female usually incubates but both parents care for the young. Clutches range from 3-6 eggs. Incubation requires 12-15 days and young fledge in 9-35 days.
   
  Photos by Ed Konrad

 

  Red-breasted Blackbird



  Red-breasted Blackbird
,
  Sturnella militaris
  Agricultural Station
  Valencia, Trinidad
                             Wiki     EoL

Yellow-hooded Blackbird

Yellow-hooded Blackbird,
Chrysomus icterocephalus
Caroni Marsh, Trinidad
                                      Wiki     EoL

  Crested Oropendula Oropendula nest







   Nest
Crested Oropendola,
Psarocolius decumanus
Asa Wright Nature Center, Trinidad
Wiki     EoL
 
 
 
Icterids
Icterids and starlings, feeding at the Equestrian Center. Group includes Red-winged Blackbirds, Agelius phoeniceus (left), Brown-headed Cowbirds, Molothrus ater (center), and European Starlings, Sturnus vulgaris [Sturnidae] (right). A similar group is shown in the banner above.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 

 

 

 

 

 

   
  Banner - Red-winged Blackbirds, Brown-headed Cowbirds, European Starlings. Equetrian Center. Seabrook, SC.