Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Least Concern

Black-backed Oriole (Icterus abeillei)


French: Oriole d’Abeillé German: Schwarzmanteltrupial Spanish: Turpial dorsinegro

Xanthornus Abeillei


, 1839,



Sometimes treated as conspecific with I. bullockiorum, but DNA data indicate that it is sister to I. galbula; all three formerly treated as conspecific. Monotypic.


C Mexico from Durango and Nuevo León S to Michoacán and WC Veracruz; winters in C Mexico mostly along Transvolcanic Belt S to Oaxaca.

Descriptive notes

18–20·5 cm; 31–37 g. Male has crown to side of head, nape and upperparts black, orange supraloral line, narrow orange crescentic patch above and below eye (looking like... read more


Song a rich warble, often with some scratchy notes, covering rather wide frequency range, resembles... read more


Breeds in open forest, clearings and forest edge, riparian habitats, orchards and gardens; in... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, spiders (Araneae), fruits, nectar. One of main avian predators of the toxic monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) that... read more


Season Apr–Aug. No other published information.


Apparently a short-distance migrant within C Mexico.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common. Estimated global population in range 50,000–500,000 individuals. Occurs in some protected areas, such as Pico de Orizaba... read more

Recommended citation

Fraga, R. (2020). Black-backed Oriole (Icterus abeillei). 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 25 January 2020).