17 Amaze-wing Facts About The Icterid For Kids

There are so many fun icterid facts to know and learn about! How many of these did you already know?

The icterid family has several birds included in it, the most prominent one of them is the New World blackbirds. They should not be confused with the Old World blackbirds, which are only vaguely related to the aforementioned family. The icterid birds are recognized for their vibrant colorations, which range from yellow to deep shades of orange. In fact, is this hue of orange-yellow that had earned this species its family name back when it had first been categorized. Its name icterid is directly taken from the Latin variant of the name, which is a nod towards its color. Though they have multiple colors, their size in terms of population is bigger still, with at least 20 species to their family.

You can read all about these fun-loving, medium-sized birds, and the icterid distribution, their diet, lifestyle, habitat, and tons of more fun stuff! All you have to do is scroll ahead. If you fancy reading about some other birds, you must check out common kingfisher and belted kingfisher too!


Fact File

What do they prey on?

Fruits, flowers, invertebrates

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

0.6-19.2 oz (17–544.3 g)

How long are they?

6.7–21.5 in (17–54.6 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Black and yellow

Skin Type


What are their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Forest, grassland, savanna


Columbia and Southern Mexico





Scientific Name






Icterid Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an icterid?

The New World blackbirds having vivid shape, behavior, and coloration are a type of bird.

What class of animal does an icterid belong to?

Often enlivened by yellow-orange, these New World blackbirds have belonged to the class of birds.

How many icterids are there in the world?

The Icteridae family is extremely varied and prominent yellow feathers of many species. The total number of genera is 25, and 103 species are available in this family. But the estimated population of icterids is not known.

Where does an icterid live?

These small to medium-sized species having prominent yellow feathers live in the forests. You'll find them throughout Columbia and Southern Mexico.

What is an icterid's habitat?

Also called the New World blackbirds, plumage color often enlivened, can be found in a wide range of an icterid habitat. Scrub, bogs, marsh, woodland, deserts, and savannah are among the areas they call the icterid range of habitats.

Who do icterids live with?

These birds varied in size, shape, behavior, and coloration and this family is extremely varied, lives in the big flocks. Many species create flocks—sometimes enormous flocks—during migration and wintertime when they're all feeding and roosting.

How long does an icterid live?

The icterid life span varies depending on the bird. However, the usual longevity is 7-12 years. Brewer's blackbirds live an average of 11 years in the environment. This blackbird (genus: Euphagus) can live from 8-12 years in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

The majority of icterids construct an uncovered cup-shaped nest weaved into supporting foliage or in a shrub's cleft. Blackbirds rarely build nests in holes; however, they do occasionally build nests in cavities. These are laid in one to seven eggs sequences regularly. Although most blackbirds remain socially monogamous, many species are polygynous.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of this medium-sized, often colorful and enlivened by yellow-orange color species, is the Least Concern declared by IUCN Red List and the same for the common blackbirds.

Icterid Fun Facts

What do icterids look like?

Generally, species possess black as a dominant plumage color (often enlivened by yellow, orange, or red). However, the family is extremely varied in size, shape, behavior, and coloration. The title, indicating jaundiced ones (the prominent yellow feathers of many species), originates from the Greek term 'ikteros,' in the Latin word 'ictericus.'

The yellow-headed blackbird (genus: Xanthocephalus) is a medium-sized blackbird with yellow heads. It is the only member of this genus. The yellow-headed blackbird migrates in large groups with other bird species.

The icterids are a set of small to medium-sized (often colorful) birds confined to the New World.

How cute are they?

Icterid birds have many colors like yellow, orange, or red. However, bright yellow feathers of many species, as well as their vibrantly colored bill, tail, and plumage, combine to create a stunning bird.

How do they communicate?

These birds are diurnal; however, they may sing at night on occasion. They put up a wide range of performances. The song-spread appears to serve as a territorial defense mechanism and a mate attraction mechanism. These birds' flight song is likewise amazing.

How big is an icterid?

The medium-sized bird is often colorful with yellow, orange, or red; icterid size ranges between 6.7–21.5 in (17–54.6 cm). The red-winged blackbird (genus: Agelaius) length measures around 6.7–9.4 in (17- 23.8 cm). The average length of the icterid birds is greater than the red-winged blackbird.

How fast can an icterid move?

Various icterids birds travel at different speeds. For example, rusty blackbirds have a top speed of 18.64-23 mph (30-37 kph).

How much does an icterid weigh?

The small to medium-sized plumage color, often enlivened by yellow-orange, bird weight measures between 0.6-19.2 oz (17–544.3 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no special name for icterids adult male and female species.

What would you call a baby icterid?

There is no particular title for this species that varied in size, shape, behavior, and coloration.

What do they eat?

The icterid diet consists of a variety of meals. Few animals have lengthy bills adapted to opening fruit skins and obtaining the delicate insides with their gaping motion. Cowbirds and bobolinks, for example, have shorter, stubbier beaks for smashing seeds. The Jamaican blackbird (genus: nesopsar) uses its beak to scrape through tree bark, including epiphytes, and has adapted to an evolutionary niche once occupied by woodcreepers somewhere else in the Neotropics. The orioles will consume the nectar.

Are they dangerous?

Most blackbirds are fiercely territorial, attacking practically anything that approaches too close, particularly larger animals that they perceive as a threat, such as crows, cats, hawks, and people.

Would they make a good pet?

Most of the species, which have often enlivened by yellow, orange, or red coloration, are wild species, and it is illegal to keep them in captivity, or a person should need a license for this.

Did you know...

Icterids, sometimes known as New World blackbirds, are small to medium-sized, frequently colorful New World passerine birds that belong to the Icteridae family.

Blackbirds (Agelaius), orioles (Icterus), grackles (Quiscalus), cowbirds (Molothrus), meadowlarks (Sturnella), and bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) are all members of this family. Troupials (Icterus icterus), caciques (Cacicus), and oropendolas (Psarocolius), are tropical members.

In Peru, the species of oropendola and cacique are known as paucar or other identical words. Native Americans fed paucares to their kids to make children fast learners since paucares are very bright. Because the male is not involved in the nesting and caring of the offspring, a man who doesn't work is referred to as a male paucar.

What is special about icterid birds?

Icterids have evolved to eat a variety of meals. Caciques and oropendolas open fruit skins with their gaping motion and reach the delicate insides, and their lengthy bills are adapted to the task. These birds' nesting practices are likewise diverse, with orioles and oropendolas using pendulous constructed nests.

Comparisons with other birds of the Icteridae family

Icterids come in a wide range of sizes. These birds are varied in different aspects like medium to large size with conical bills that range from short and hefty to slender and long; many are colorful and sexually dimorphic in coloration and size.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these giant cowbird facts and giant ibis facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable icterid coloring pages.



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