Oropendolas to Oriole Blackbird

Russet-backed Oropendola - Psarocolius angustifrons
Russet-backed Oropendola
Psarocolius angustifrons angustifrons
Lumbaqui, Sucumbíos province, Ecuador.
Common in NW South America in both the Andes and Amazon, where they form large nesting colonies. Racial variation in this species is extreme, leading one to believe that more than one species should be recognized. Compare this nominate race with the next photos. (S5)

Russet-backed Oropendola - Psarocolius angustifrons
Russet-backed Oropendola
Psarocolius angustifrons alfredi
Cock-of-the-rock Lodge, San Pedro, Cusco region, Peru.
This subspecies is found from SE Ecuador to SE Peru. It has a yelloish-white bill and a lot of yellow on the head and throat. (S8)

Russet-backed Oropendola - Psarocolius angustifrons
Russet-backed Oropendola
Psarocolius angustifrons salmoni
RNA Arrierito Antioqueño, Anorí, Antioquia department, Colombia.
This is the subspecies occurring in the western and central Andes of Colombia, with very dark plumage, orange bill, and yellow forehead. (D3)

Dusky-green Oropendola - Psarocolius atrovirens
Dusky-green Oropendola
Psarocolius atrovirens
Aguas Calientes, Cusco department, Peru.
This oropendola has a relatively small range in cloudforests of southern Peru and western Bolivia. (S6)

Green Oropendola - Psarocolius viridis
Green Oropendola
Psarocolius viridis
Yasuní Research Station, Orellana province, Ecuador.
A widespread oropendola in the Amazon and Guianan regions. (S6)

Crested Oropendola - Psarocolius decumanus
Crested Oropendola
Psarocolius decumanus maculosus
Pousada Piuval, Pantanal, Mato Grosso state, Brazil.
A common species ocurring from Panama south to Brazil and northern Argentina. (S6)

Chestnut-headed Oropendola - Psarocolius wagleri
Chestnut-headed Oropendola
Psarocolius wagleri ridgwayi
Canopy Lodge, El Valle de Antón, Coclé province, Panama.
This impressive bird comes to the fruit feeders at the lodge - I don't know of an easier place to photograph it. The species is found in lowland rainforest from southern Mexico to northwestern Ecuador. (S8)

Montezuma Oropendola - Psarocolius montezuma
Montezuma Oropendola
Psarocolius montezuma
Arenal Observatory Lodge, Alajuela province, Costa Rica.
The only oropendola through much of Central and Middle America, and certainly one of the largest and most spectacular. (S8)

Baudo Oropendola - Psarocolius cassini
Baudo Oropendola
Psarocolius cassini
El Valle, Chocó department, Colombia.
A very distant shot. This species is endemic to a small part of northwestern Colombia. (S8)

Olive Oropendola - Psarocolius bifasciatus
Olive Oropendola
Psarocolius bifasciatus neivae
Cristalino Jungle Lodge, Mato Grosso, Brazil.
These huge oropendolas can be half a meter long. Their sheer size combined with striking coloration and bare facial skin make them a spectacular bird. They are restricted to the Amazon basin, and an alternate name is "Amazonian Oropendola". (S8)

Casqued Cacique - Cacicus oseryi
Casqued Cacique
Cacicus oseryi
Yasuní Research Station, Orellana province, Ecuador.
An odd cacique (formerly called Casqued Oropendola) restricted to the western Amazon, mainly in Peru and Ecuador. (S6)

Solitary Black Cacique - Cacicus solitarius
Solitary Black Cacique
Cacicus solitarius
Pixaim, Pantanal, Mato Grosso state, Brazil.
Usually a rather shy species. I was very surprised to see it coming to the feeders at the lodge. (S8)

Yellow-rumped Cacique - Cacicus cela
Yellow-rumped Cacique
Cacicus cela cela
Pantanal, Rio Três Irmãos Mato Grosso state, Brazil.
An abundant bird though the Amazon region, Pantanal, and a few other places in northern South America. Like oropendolas, they form big nesting colonies, often in the same trees. They are accomplished mimics, and it's fun to listen to them in the nesting trees, doing everything from Roadside Hawk to Dwarf Tyrant-Manakin. (S7)

Yellow-rumped Cacique - Cacicus cela
Yellow-rumped Cacique
Cacicus cela flavicrissus
Cerro Blanco, Guayas, Ecuador.
This subspecies is found in western Ecuador and far northwestern Peru. The bill is darker, especially at the base. (S8)

Red-rumped Cacique - Cacicus haemorrhous
Red-rumped Cacique
Cacicus haemorrhous affinis
Estação Veracruz, Porto Seguro, Bahia state, Brazil.
Here's a pair building a nest in an Atlantic Forest area in Brazil. They are often rather common in the Atlantic Forest, but in the Amazon region, where they occur together with Yellow-rumped Cacique C. cela, they are generally much less common and often local. (D3)

Scarlet-rumped Cacique - Cacicus uropygialis
Scarlet-rumped Cacique
Cacicus uropygialis pacificus
Panama Rainforest Discover Center, Colón province, Panama.
A widespread neotropical bird, though the various races are sometimes considered separate species. The scarlet rump is often hidden from view by the wings when the bird is perched. (S8)

Golden-winged Cacique - Cacicus chrysopterus
Golden-winged Cacique
Cacicus chrysopterus
Intervales State Park, São Paulo State, Brazil.

Yellow-billed Cacique - Amblycercus holosericeus
Yellow-billed Cacique
Amblycercus holosericeus holosericeus
North of Mapastepec, Chiapas state, Mexico.
One of the shiest members of this family, usually staying in dense cover. It occurs in a wide range of habitats, from humid lowlands of Mexico to bamboo thickets in the high Andes. (S5)

Venezuelan Troupial - Icterus icterus
Venezuelan Troupial
Icterus icterus icterus
Bruzual, Apure state, Venezuela.
The national bird of Venezuela, and I can certainly respect that choice. Beautiful to look and with a lovely song as well. It also occurs in Trinidad and extreme NE Colombia. (D3)

Orange-backed Troupial - Icterus croconotus
Orange-backed Troupial
Icterus croconotus strictifrons
Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel, Pixaim, Mato Grosso state, Brazil.

Yellow-backed Oriole - Icterus chrysater
Yellow-backed Oriole
Icterus chrysater giraudii
Finca Bambusa, Jardín, Antioquia, Colombia.

White-edged Oriole - Icterus graceannae
White-edged Oriole
Icterus graceannae
Machalilla National Park, Manabí province, Ecuador.
Endemic to dry forest and scrub of the Tumbesian region in western Ecuador and northwestern Peru. (S8)

Yellow-tailed Oriole - Icterus mesomelas
Yellow-tailed Oriole
Icterus mesomelas taczanowskii
Río Ayampe, Manabí province, Ecuador.
Found in secondary forest and clearings from southern Mexico to northwestern Peru. (S8)

Epaulet (Moriche) Oriole
Icterus cayanensis chrysocephalus
Yasuní Research Station, Orellana province, Ecuador.

Variable Oriole - Icterus pyrrhopterus
Variable Oriole
Icterus pyrrhopterus pyrrhopterus
Iguazú National Park, Misiones province, Argentina.
Recently split from the previous species, due to differences in shape, habitat, and behavior. See http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~remsen/SACCprop418.html. Shoulder color is variable, leading to its English name. (S6)

Baltimore Oriole - Icterus galbula
Baltimore Oriole
Icterus galbula
Rancho Naturalista, Cartago province, Costa Rica.
A familiar bird to North Americans. Here it's on it's wintering grounds enjoying the pleasant climate of the Costa Rican foothills. (D3)

Baltimore Oriole - Icterus galbula
Baltimore Oriole
Icterus galbula
Rancho Naturalista, Cartago province, Costa Rica.

Altamira Oriole - Icterus gularis
Altamira Oriole
Icterus gularis gularis
Zipolite, Oaxaca state, Mexico.

Melodious Blackbird - Dives dives
Melodious Blackbird
Dives dives
Arenal Observatory Lodge, Alajuela province, Costa Rica.
Found from Mexico to Costa Rica, where it is spreading quite rapidly into cleared areas. (S8)

Scrub Blackbird - Dives warszewiczi
Scrub Blackbird
Dives warczewiczi warczewiczi
La Segua marsh, Manabí province, Ecuador.
Presumably a male, because it was singing. These birds put a lot of effort into their sing, lurching backwards and throwing their head up into the air. (S8)

Mountain Grackle - Macroagelaius subalaris
Mountain Grackle
Macroagelaius subalaris
Reserva Reinita Cielo Azul, Santander department, Colombia.
A super-rare bird of high cloudforest in the eastern Andes of Colombia. It is closely related to Golden-tufted Grackle (M. imthurni) of the Tepui region, with a very similar voice, but due to the huge distance separating them they are usually kept as separate species. This is one of the only photos of this bird ever taken in the wild. (D3)

Oriole Blackbird - Gymnomystax mexicanus
Oriole Blackbird
Gymnomystax mexicanus
Calabozo-San Fernando highway, Guárico state, Venezuela.
This one has a rather odd distribution. Throughout the Amazon region, it is found along major rivers, especially on river islands. However, it is also common in the Llanos, where it is found in open ranchland not necessarily near rivers. With the clearance of the Amazon rainforest, one would expect it to expand it's range south and east, but I have personally noticed that happening. (D3)

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