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Icterus mesomelas
Photo © by edenwatcher
Sozoranga, Ecuador, March 2006


20·5–23·5 cm (8-9¼ in).

  • Black face, neck, mantle, back, wings and central tail feathers
  • Golden yellow remaining areas of plumage


Southeastern Mexico to northwestern Venezuela and northeastern Peru.


Subspecies carrikeri
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Ammo Dump Ponds, Colón Province, Panama, February 2011


There are five subspecies[1]:

  • I. m. mesomelas in tropical southeast Mexico (Veracruz and Oaxaca) to Belize and Honduras - yellow fringes to the tertials
  • I. m. salvinii in the Caribbean lowlands of Nicaragua to northwestern Panama - no yellow fringes to the tertials ; more orange than the nominate race
  • I. m. carrikeri from Panama to northern and western Colombia and northwestern Venezuela - like salvinii, - less orange and smaller-billed
  • I. m. taczanowskii in tropical western Ecuador and northwestern Peru - white fringes to the tertials
  • I. m. xantholemus in Ecuador (probable immature taczanowskii or unknown hybrid)


Thickets, woodlands, open areas with trees near water, in lowlands.



The diet consists mainly of insects, and arthropods such as centipedes; they also eat some nectar and fruits.


The construct a shallow basket nes in thorny scrub by a stream. The clutch consists of 3 dark-blotched white eggs; they are incubated for 13 days with a further 14 days to fledging.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/


  1. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved April 2017)

Recommended Citation

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