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New World Blackbirds and Orioles: Icteridae

Blackbirds, Orioles, And People

Because of their large and loud flock sizes and their feeding on agricultural crops such as rice, sunflowers, and corn, many people consider blackbirds and orioles pests.


As the breeding season ends, red-winged blackbirds take to the skies in enormous flocks that can contain tens to hundreds of thousands of birds. They share the skies with other species of blackbirds and starlings, and forage for food together. The size of these flocks helps protect them from predators, animals that hunt them for food, and keeps them protected from the elements. Roosting flocks can be even larger than foraging flocks, and may number over a million birds.

Additional topics

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