ICTERIDAE of North America

The Icterids are a group of small to medium-sized, often colorful birds, restricted to the New World. Most species have black as a predominant plumage color, often enlivened by yellow, orange or red. The majority of icterid species live in the tropics, although there are a number of temperate forms. They inhabit a range of habitats, including scrub, swamp, forest, and savannah. Temperate species are migratory. Icterids are variable in size, and often display considerable sexual dimorphism. Their size varies 15-52 cm. One unusual adaptation shared is they can open their bills strongly rather than passively, allowing them to force open gaps to obtain otherwise hidden food. Some use their gaping motion to open the skins of fruit to obtain the soft insides, and have long bills adapted to the process. Others such as cowbirds have shorter stubbier bills for crushing seeds. Orioles will drink nectar. The nesting habits of these birds are similarly variable. [abstracted from Wikipedia]



Orioles

Order Passeriformes    Family Icteridae

New World orioles of family Icteridae, genus Icterus are not related to Old World orioles of family Oriolidae, but are strikingly similar in size; diet; behaviour and their strongly contrasting plumage, a good example of convergent evolution. The males are typically black and yellow or orange, with white markings; the plumage of females and immature birds is duller. They are generally slender with long tails and a pointed bill. They mainly eat insects, often also nectar and fruit. The nest is a woven, elongated pouch. Species nesting in areas with cold winters are migratory.


Genus Icterus
The male orioles are typically black and yellow/orange with a little white. Females are duller.

Oriole, Altamira  Icterus gularis  Found: Texas to Central America
The Altamira Oriole has black back, wings, bib, lores, bill; orange head, nape, underparts; 1 white wingbar. Male and female are similar.
Similar to: Hooded Oriole. Male Hooded Oriole has more black on cheeks than Altamira Oriole.
Similar to: Spot-beasted Orioles are similer. Adult Spot-breasted Oriole has spots on breast; adult Altamira Oriole has no spots on breast. Juveniles are similar, with juvenile Spot-breasted Oriole having darker upper back.
Image by: 1) Bill Bouton - Texas  2) Hollingsworth  of the US Fish and Wildlife Service  3)  Dominic Sherony  4) Alastair Rae


Oriole, Audubon's   Icterus graduacauda  Found: southeastern Texas, Mexican coast
Audibon's Oriole has a yellow back with greenish tinge; black hood, wings, tail; shiny black bill; yellow underparts. Female similar to make with slight more green on the back.
Similar to: Scott's Oriole. Male Scott's Oriole has a black back; Audubon's Oriole does not. Female Scott's Oriole does not have a black head; female Audubon's Oriole has a black head.
Image by: 1) Jerry Oldenettel - Mexico  2, 3) Bill Bouton - Texas  4) Jeff Whitlock - Texas  5) Amy McAndrews- Mexico



Oriole, Baltimore    Found: North America (not western USA)
The male Baltimore Oriole has a black hood, back, wings, upper tail; yellowish-orange to reddish-orange underparts; shoulders. Female has yellow-brown upperparts with darker wings; dull orange-yellow underparts.
Similar to: Black-backed Oriole. The male Black-backed has more black on the back than male Baltimore Oriole. Female has mre white wing-bars than female Baltimore Oriole.
Similar to: Bullock's Oriole. Male Bullock's Oriole has more white on wings than male Baltimore Oriole. Female Bullock's Oriole has line to the rear of its eyes; female Bullock's Oriole has neglible eye-line. Female Bullock's Oriole side of head is brighter than female Baltimore Oriole side of head.
Similar to: Orchard Oriole. Baltimore Oriole is orange or yellowish-orange; female and 1st year male Orchard Oriole are yellowish green; male Orchard Oriole is chesnut brown.
Similar to Scott's Oriole. Baltimore Oriole is orange-yellow; Scott's Oriole is yellow. Ranges do not overlap in USA.
Image by:  1) Henry McLin - Pennsylvania  2) Paula McVann - Missouri  3) Hjhipster  4) Dick Daniels - North Carolina    5) Marilylie Soveran   6) Kelly Azar - Pennsylvania  7) Terry Babji - New York  8) Dick - Pedasi, Panama
1) Juvenile  2, 3, 4) Female  5) Juvenile male  6, 7, 8) Male  


Oriole, Bar-winged  Icterus maculialatus  Found: Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras
The Bar-winged Oriole has black upperparts, 1 white wing-bar; orange underparts.
Image by: 1) Amy McAndrews - Chiapas  2) Alex Navarro


Oriole, Black-backed  Icterus abeillei  Found: Mexico
The male Black-backed Oriole has a black hood, back, wings, upper tail; yellowish-orange underparts; . Female has yellow-brown upperparts; dull orange-yellow underparts.
Similar to: Baltimore Oriole. The male Black-backed has more black on the back than male Baltimore Oriole. Female has mre white wing-bars than female Baltimore Oriole.
Image by: 1) Pablo Leautaud  2) Joseph Smit 3) Pable Leautard - Mexico
1) Female 2, 3) Male


Oriole, Black-cowled  Icterus prosthemelas Found: Mexico, Central America
The male Black-cowled has mainly black upperparts, head, neck, upper-breast, tail; yellow lower-breast, belly, rump. Female black only on face, fore-neck; olive-green upperparts.
Image by: 1) Chris Jimenez  2) Hans Hillewaert - Costa Rica  3) Stan Lupo - Costa Rica  4) Francesco Veronesi
1) Female 2, 3, 4) Male


Oriole, Black-vented  Icterus wagleri  Found: Mexico, Central America
The Black-venter Oriole has mainly black upperparts, head, neck, tail; orange-yellow rest of underparts.
Image by: 1)  Len Blumin - Mexico  2) Ron Knight - Mexico


Oriole, Bullock's Icterus bullockii Found: western North America
The male Bullock's Oriole has a black crown, nape, back, throat, eye-line; white wing patch; the rest is orange. Female has olive crown; gray-brown upperparts; dull yellow breast; whitish belly.
Similar to: Baltimore Oriole. Male Bullock's Oriole has more white on wings than male Baltimore Oriole. Female Bullock's Oriole has line to the rear of its eyes; female Bullock's Oriole has neglible eye-line. Female Bullock's Oriole side of head is brighter than female Baltimore Oriole side of head.
Similar to: Black-headed Grosbeak. Male Black-headed Grosbeak has more black on head than male Bullock's Oriole. Male Bullock's Oriole has more white on wings.
Image by: 1) Alan Vernon - California  2) Eugene Beckes  3) Nigel - Vancouver, CA    4, 5) J N Stuart - New Mexico  6) Kevin Cole- Atascadero Lake  7) Charlie Westerinen - Tonopah, NV 
1, 2, 3) Female 4) Juvenile male 6, 7) Male



Oriole, Hooded  icterus cucullatus  Found: southwestern North America
The male Hooded Oriole has a black face, throat, back, wings, tail; orange hood, underparts; white wingbar. Female has olive-green  upperparts; yellowish underparts.
Similar to: Altamira Oriole. Male Hooded Oriole has more black on cheeks than Altamira Oriole.
Similar to: Orchard Oriole. Ranges only marginally overlap. Female Hooded Oriole and female Orchard Oriole are similar.
Similar to: Streak-backed Orioles.
Image by:  1, 2) Linda Tanner - Morro Bay, California  3) Dennis Jarvis - Mexico   4) Alan D. Wilson - Amado, Arizona   5) Carl_Berger  6)   Charlie Westerinen - the Sampley airport in Arizona  7) Dick Daniels - Tuscon, Arizona
1) Juvenile 2, 3) Female 4, 5, 6, 7) Male


Oriole, Orchard Icterus spurius   Found: central and eastern North America
The male Oriole Orchard has a black head, neck, back, wings; chestnut underparts, rump. Female has olive-green upperparts; yellowish underparts.
Similar to: Baltimore Oriole. Baltimore Oriole is orange or yellowish-orange; female and 1st year male Orchard Oriole are yellowish green; male Orchard Oriole is chesnut brown.
Image by: 1) John Sutton  2, 6) Henry McLin - Pennsylvania   3, 4) Kelly Azar - Pennsylvanila  7, 8, 9) Dick Daniels - North Carolina   10) Dan Pancamo  11) MitchMcc
1, 2) Fledgling  3, 4) Female / immature male  5) Female  6, 7, 8) 1st year male  9,10, 11) Male


Oriole, Orange  Icterus auratus  Found: Belize, Mexico
The Orange Oriole has mainly orange plumage; black bib, wings, tail.
Image by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans   2) Amy McAndrews


Oriole, Scott's   Icterus graduacauda  Found: southwestern United States to central Mexico
The male Scott's Oriole has a black back, head, breast; hellow underparts. Female has olive-green upperparts; lighter underparts.
Similar to: Audubon's Oriole. Male Scott's Oriole has a black back; Audubon's Oriole does not. Female Scott's Oriole does not have a black head; female Audubon's Oriole has a black head.
Similar to Baltimore Oriole. Baltimore Oriole is orange-yellow; Scott's Oriole is yellow. Ranges do not overlap in USA.
Image by: 1) Phillip Cowan - California   2, 3) J N Stuart - New Mexico
1) Female  2, 3) Male


Oriole, Spot-breasted  Icterus pectoralis  Found: North America (Florida) and Central America
Male and female Spot-breasted Orioles are similar in appearance.
Similar to: Altamira Oriole. Adult Spot-breasted Oriole has spots on breast; adult Altamira Oriole has no spots on breast. Juveniles are similar, with juvenile Spot-breasted Oriole having darker upper back.
Image by: 1, 3) Len Blumin - Costa Rica  2)  Dominic Sherony - Guatemala  4) Dan Irizarry - Florida


Oriole, Streak-backed  Icterus pustulatus  Found: Mexico and Central America
The Streak-backed Oriole has an orange head, underparts; orange back with black streaks; black tail, face, throat, lores. The streaked back is a distinguishing feature.
Image by: 1) Joseph Smit  2,  3) Dominic Sherony  4) Marcel Holyoak - San Bernardino County, California  5) Charlie Westerinen - western Costa Rica



Genus Cassiculus - 1 species

Cacique, Yellow-winged  Cassiculus melanicterus  Found: northern Guatemala, west coast Mexico
The Yellow-winged Cacique has mainly black plumage; yellow wings, rump, tail.
Similar to: Yellow-rumped Cacique. Range of Yellow-rumped Cacique and Yellow-winged Cacique do not overlap.
Image by: 1) Jerry Oldenettel - Mexico  2) Don Loarie   3) Ron Knight



Genus Dolichonyx - 1 species
Unlike the orioles and caciques, bobolinks have their nest on the ground, usually in dense vegetation.

Bobolink Dolichonyx oryzivorus   Found: Grassland - The Americas
The male Boboling has mainly black plumage; creamy nape; white center of back and shoulders. Female has light brown plumage  with some black on back and flanks.
Image by:   1) Seabamirum - New York  2) New Jersy Birds    3) Alan D. Wilson near Diamond, Oregon  4) Andrea Westmoreland
1) nonbreeding adult 2) Female 3, 4) Male



Genus Psarocolius
The Oropendolas have long pointed bills; long tails with at least some bright yellow. Like the orioles they are colonial breeders and have long basket-like nests. They eat insects and fruit.

Oropendola, Chestnut-headed  Psarocolius wagleri  Found: Mexico to northwest South America
The Chestnut-headed Oropendola black upperparts and lowerparts with chestnut head, rump; blue eyes; whitish bill with bulbous area at base of upper mandible; yellow tail with black central feathers.
Image by: 1) Kate and Sam - Costa Rica  2) Gaby Schulemann-Maier - Costa Rica  3) Joule E





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