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Venezuelan Troupial - BirdForum Opus

Icterus icterus
Photo by Digitalbcon
Location: Bogotá, Colombia, January 2008


9.75 ins (25cm). A large member of the oriole family with a black head and upper breast; orange-yellow belly and back; black tail and black wings with large white wing patches. Large pointed grey bill and grey orbital ring extending into a point behind the yellowish eye. The form metae which is the isolated south-west most population of Venezuelan Troupial is showing certain features leaning towards Orange-backed Troupial such as white wing panel being broken into two parts; these features are explained with convergent evolution and not hybridization1.


The ABC Islands (formerly the Netherlands Antilles) and Margarita Island, off Venezuela as well as Trinidad. Venezuela north of the Orinoco River and NE Colombia from the Guajira Peninsula to SE base of Santa Marta Mtns. and in N Arauca. Introduced to Puerto Rico, inc. Mona Is., Virgin Is. on St Thomas.


The 3 forms of the Troupial have now become 3 full species, which are Venezuelan Troupial (Icterus icterus), with the races: ridgwayi, icterus and metae; Orange-backed Troupial (I. croconotus) with races croconotus and strictifrons; and Campo Troupial (I. jamaicaii)1.


Mainly arid scrublands in the West Indies. Also found in parks and urban areas. Some occur in gallery forest in South America.


The adults breed between the months of March and September, and seek out nests of other birds. They may even ingest the eggs or young hatchlings of a newly acquired nest. 3 to 4 eggs of their own are laid and are incubated for about two weeks.


A clear whistle: troup, troup.... or troup-ial, troup-ial......


  1. SACC discussion accepting the split into three forms.

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