Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Least Concern

Altamira Oriole (Icterus gularis)


French: Oriole à gros bec German: Schwarzkehltrupial Spanish: Turpial de Altamira

Ps[arocolius]. gularis


, 1829,

Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Mexico


Following revision#R, several proposed races now usually considered to be based on age differences in plumage and other features: thus, tamaulipensis, described from Alta Mira (Tamaulipas), in E Mexico, yucatanensis, from Yucatán Peninsula, and troglodytes, from San Felipe (Retalhuleu), on Pacific slope of Guatemala, all subsumed into mentalis; and gigas, from Sacapulas (valley of R Negro), in C Guatemala, and xerophilus, from Progreso (Motagua Valley), in SW Guatemala, both synonymized with nominate. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • I. g. mentalis Lesson, 1831 – extreme S USA (lower Rio Grande Valley, in Texas) and E & S Mexico (to Yucatán Peninsula, across Isthmus of Tehuantepec to Matías Romero area, also Pacific lowlands of Chiapas E from about Pijijiapan) S to Guatemala (to La Avellana region), and N Belize.
  • I. g. flavescens A. R. Phillips, 1966 – Guerrero, in S Mexico.
  • I. g. gularis (Wagler, 1829) – Pacific lowlands of S Mexico (Isthmus of Tehuantepec S to Tapanatepec, in Oaxaca), also interior Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and W Nicaragua.
  • Descriptive notes

    23–25·5 cm; male average 85·7 g, female average 69·4 g. A robust oriole with thick straight bill. Nominate race has head and underparts bright... read more


    Song a varied series of loud whistles, sometimes combining slow and fast sections. Calls include... read more


    Woodland and scrub, riparian woodland, savannas; seems to have a liking for Mimosa trees.... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods, presumably also small vertebrates; also fruits and nectar. Ants (Formicidae) found among stomach contents. Feeds on fruits of... read more


    Season late Apr–Aug in USA and NE Mexico, May–Jul in S Mexico (Oaxaca) and Mar–Jun in El Salvador; apparently double-... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to fairly common throughout range. A rather abundant oriole in some places, with increasing populations. First recorded in S USA in 1930s, and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fraga, R. (2020). Altamira Oriole (Icterus gularis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 23 January 2020).