New World Blackbirds and Orioles: Icteridae - Physical Characteristics
Animal Life ResourceBirdsNew World Blackbirds and Orioles: Icteridae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Blackbirds, Orioles, And People, Baltimore Oriole (icterus Galbula): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS
New World blackbirds and orioles (called "icterids" as a group) are physically diverse in coloring, size, and shape. Common colorings are black, dark purple, yellow, brown, and orange. Bill size and shape is also variable—some species like the great-tailed grackle and the meadowlarks have long, curved beaks while others have shorter conical, or cone-shaped, ones. All blackbirds have a unique jaw structure that enables them to force their jaw and bill open, a practice known as gaping that lets them forage, or search for food, more effectively.