New World oriole

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New World orioles
Baltimore Oriole.jpg
Baltimore oriole, Icterus gala
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Icteridae
Genus: Icterus
Brisson, 1760
Type species
Oriolus icterus (Venezuelan troupial)
Linnaeus, 1766

See text

New World orioles are a group of birds in the genus Icterus of the blackbird family. Unrelated to Old World orioles of the family Oriolidae, they are strikingly similar in size, diet, behavior, and strongly contrasting plumage. As a result, the two have been given the same vernacular name.

Males are typically black and vibrant yellow or orange with white markings, females and immature birds duller. They molt annually. New World orioles are generally slender with long tails and a pointed bill. They mainly eat insects, but also enjoy nectar and fruit. The nest is a woven, elongated pouch. Species nesting in areas with cold winters are strongly migratory, while subtropical and tropical species are more sedentary.

The name "oriole" was first recorded (in the Latin form oriolus) by the German Dominican friar Albertus Magnus in about 1250, which he stated to be onomatopoeic, from the song of the European golden oriole.

One of the species in the genus, Bahama oriole, is critically endangered.

The genus Icterus was introduced by the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in 1760 with the Venezuelan troupial as the type species.[1][2] The name is the Latin word for a yellow bird, probably the Eurasian golden oriole.[3]

The genus name Icterus as used by classical authors, referred to a bird with yellow or green plumage. Icterus is from Greek ἴκτερος (íkteros, “jaundice”); the ictērus was a bird the sight of which was believed to cure jaundice, perhaps the Eurasian golden oriole.[4] Brisson re-applied the name to the New World birds because of their similarity in appearance.[5]

Species list[edit]

The genus contains 33 extant species.[6]

Image Common Name Scientific name Distribution
Scott's Oriole (Icterus parisorum) (14083421122).jpg Scott's oriole Icterus parisorum Southwestern United States and south to Baja California Sur and central Mexico.
Icterus chrysater Turpial montañero Yellow-backed Oriole (14868781704).jpg Yellow-backed oriole Icterus chrysater Belize, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela.
Audubon's Oriole National Butterfly Center Mission TX 2018-03-04 15-14-28-2 (39971535194).jpg Audubon's oriole Icterus graduacauda westernmost range extends from Nayarit south to southern Oaxaca, whereas the eastern range stretches from the lower Rio Grande valley to northern Querétaro
Icterus leucopteryx -San Andres, Archipelago of San Andres, Colombia -juvenile-8.jpg Jamaican oriole Icterus leucopteryx Jamaica and on the Colombian island of San Andrés
Icterus auratus 60726713.jpg Orange oriole Icterus auratus the Yucatán Peninsula and far northern Belize
Altamira Oriole National Butterfly Center Mission TX 2018-03-12 08-38-00 (39174878290).jpg Altamira oriole Icterus gularis subtropical lowlands of the Mexican Gulf Coast and northern Central America, the Pacific coast and inland
Icterus nigrogularis Turpial amarillo Yellow Oriole (8495625798).jpg Yellow oriole Icterus nigrogularis northern South America in Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad, the Guianas and parts of northern Brazil, (northern Roraima state, and eastern Amapá)
Bullock's Oriole.jpg Bullock's oriole Icterus bullockii as far north as British Columbia in Canada and as far south as Sonora or Durango in Mexico
Icterus pustulatus 1.jpg Streak-backed oriole Icterus pustulatus Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and an occasional visitor to the Southwestern United States
Icterus abeillei 60979467.jpg Black-backed oriole Icterus abeillei Mexico.
Baltimore Oriole- dorsum.jpg Baltimore oriole Icterus galbula Canadian Prairies and eastern Montana in the northwest eastward through southern Ontario, southern Quebec and New Brunswick and south through the eastern United States to central Mississippi and Alabama and northern Georgia.
Icterus mesomelas.jpg Yellow-tailed oriole Icterus mesomelas southern Mexico to western Peru and northwestern Venezuela
Icterus pectoralis-- the Spot-breasted Oriole (24184797909).jpg Spot-breasted oriole Icterus pectoralis Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua.
White Edged Oriole RWD2.jpg White-edged oriole Icterus graceannae Ecuador and Peru.
Corrupião - Icterus jamacai.JPG Campo troupial Icterus jamacaii northeastern Brazil
Curacao-Icterus-Icterus-2013.JPG Venezuelan troupial Icterus icterus Colombia, Venezuela, and the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, and Puerto Rico.
Orange-backed Troupial (Icterus croconotus) (28557678726).jpg Orange-backed troupial Icterus croconotus Guyana, Brazil, Paraguay, and eastern Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru
Bar-winged Oriole - Chiapas - Mexico S4E7324 (23521447649).jpg Bar-winged oriole Icterus maculialatus El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico.
Black-vented Oriole (Icterus wagleri) (8079398668).jpg Black-vented oriole Icterus wagleri El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and the United States.
Hooded Oriole (34135625394).jpg Hooded oriole Icterus cucullatus Baja California Sur, the Mexican east coast, and Belize.
Black-cowled Oriole.jpg Black-cowled oriole Icterus prosthemelas eastern half of mainland Central America.
Orchard Oriole by Dan Pancamo 2.jpg Orchard oriole Icterus spurius United States, Mexico
Cuban Oriole .cu (3).jpg Cuban oriole Icterus melanopsis island of Cuba and the neighboring Isla de la juventud
Bahama Oriole.jpg Bahama oriole Icterus northropi the Bahamas.
Martinique oriole Icterus bonana Martinique, French West Indies
Icterus portoricensis imported from iNaturalist photo 6037125 on 4 September 2019.jpg Puerto Rican oriole Icterus portoricensis Puerto Rico
Icterus oberi -London Zoo, England-8a.jpg Montserrat oriole Icterus oberi Lesser Antilles of the West Indies,
Saint Lucia oriole Icterus laudabilis main island of St. Lucia
Icterus dominicensis.jpg Hispaniolan oriole Icterus dominicensis Hispaniola.
Orange-crowned Oriole - Darién - Panama (48444344772).jpg Orange-crowned oriole Icterus auricapillus eastern Panama, Colombia and Venezuela.
Encontro (Icterus pyrrhopterus) (17772698624).jpg Variable oriole Icterus pyrrhopterus Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Epaulet Oriole - Pantanal - Brazil H8O1352 (23781001732).jpg Epaulet oriole Icterus cayanensis Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, and Suriname.

One extinct species, the Talara troupial (Icterus turmalis), is known from fossil remains recovered from the Talara Tar Seeps of northwestern Peru, and likely went extinct during the late Quaternary. It may have been a close associate of Pleistocene megafauna communities, and may have gone extinct following their collapse in populations.[7]


  1. ^ Brisson, Mathurin Jacques (1760). Ornithologie, ou, Méthode contenant la division des oiseaux en ordres, sections, genres, especes & leurs variétés (in French and Latin). Paris: Jean-Baptiste Bauche. Vol. 1 p. 30, Vol. 2 p. 85.
  2. ^ Paynter, Raymond A. Jr, ed. (1968). Check-List of Birds of the World. Vol. 14. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 149.
  3. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 201–202. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. ^ ictĕrus in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  5. ^ Newton, Alfred (1911). "Icterus" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  6. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2018). "Oropendolas, orioles, blackbirds". World Bird List Version 8.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  7. ^ Steadman, David W.; Oswald, Jessica A. (July 2020). "New species of troupial (Icterus) and cowbird (Molothrus) from ice-age Peru". The Wilson Journal of Ornithology. 132 (1): 91–103. doi:10.1676/1559-4491-132.1.91. ISSN 1559-4491.

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