Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Least Concern

Audubon's Oriole (Icterus graduacauda)


French: Oriole d’Audubon German: Schwarzkopftrupial Spanish: Turpial de Audubon

Icterus graduacauda


, 1839,



Race audubonii intergrades with nominate. Proposed race richardsoni, described from Oaxaca (Chimalapa, in Tehuantepec), in S Mexico, synonymized with dickeyae. For subspecies group, name dickeyae awarded priority over nayaritensis by First Reviser#R. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • I. g. audubonii Giraud, 1841 – S USA (S Texas) and NE Mexico (Nuevo León and Tamaulipas; perhaps also N Coahuila#R).
  • I. g. graduacauda Lesson, 1839 – Audubon's Oriole – E Mexico (San Luis Potosí, S Tamaulipas and NW Veracruz).
  • I. g. nayaritensis van Rossem, 1938 – W Mexico (Nayarit and W Jalisco).
  • I. g. dickeyae van Rossem, 1938 – Dickey's Oriole – S Guerrero and Oaxaca (Sierra Madre), possibly also Chiapas, in S Mexico.
  • Descriptive notes

    21·5–24 cm; 31–52 g, male average 47 g, female average 45·7 g. Male nominate race has head to upper breast black, upperparts olivaceous yellow;... read more


    Song, by both sexes, a slow series of whistles and warbles, with rich harmonics, the notes rather... read more


    Occupies many habitats, including humid evergreen forest, semi-deciduous forest, cloudforest, pine... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and other arthropods, possibly small vertebrates, also seeds, fruits and nectar. Insects include adult and larval beetles (... read more


    Season Apr–Jun in USA (Texas) and Apr–Sept in Mexico; probably two or three broods per season. Probably monogamous. Breeds as isolated... read more


    Apparently sedentary; probably some altitudinal movement in highlands.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Classified as “Rare” in the USA (Yellow WatchList priority species for conservation). Uncommon to rare in USA; uncommon to locally fairly... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fraga, R. (2019). Audubon's Oriole (Icterus graduacauda). 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 24 April 2019).