by A Home For Wild Birds.com
Photo by Michael A Del Monaco
Was there ever a family so poorly matched as the blackbird and oriole clan?
What traits are common to every member of it? Not one, that I know. Some of the family are gorgeously clad, like the Baltimore Oriole; some quite plainly, like the cowbird.
Although black seems to be a general color in their plumage, the meadowlark, for example is a brown bird with only a black crescent on its breast.
Most of the males are dressed quite differently from their mates, although the female grackles are merely duller.
Some of these birds sing exquisitely; others wheeze or croak a few unmusical notes. Some live in huge flocks; some live in couples.
Some, like the bobolinks, travel to the tropics every winter; others like the meadowlark can endure the cold of the North.
Part of the family feed upon the ground, but the oriole branch live in the trees.
Devotion to mates and children characterize most of the family, but we can't ignore the cowbird that neither mates nor takes the slightest care of its offspring.
The cowbird builds no nest, while its cousin, the Baltimore Oriole is a famous weaver.
The bobolink is a jolly fellow; the grackle is solemn, even morose.
What a queer family!