Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Least Concern

Melodious Blackbird (Dives dives)


French: Quiscale chanteur German: Trauerstärling Spanish: Zanate cantor

Icterus dives

W. Deppe

, 1830,



Previously treated as conspecific with D. warczewiczi, and the two are sister-species#R. Monotypic.


NE Mexico (S Tamaulipas) S in lowlands of Caribbean coast, and from Guatemala also along Pacific coast, to Costa Rica.

Descriptive notes

Male 25·5 cm, 98·3–102 g; female 23 cm, 83·4–95·9 g. Medium-sized all-dark icterid with long tail. Plumage is wholly black, with blue and purple iridescence; iris dark brown... read more


Song, by both sexes, often in duet, loud and musical, a mix of mellow whistles and warbles with... read more


Open pine woodland (mostly of the native pines Pinus caribaea and Pinus oocarpa... read more

Food and feeding

Quite omnivorous: insects and other arthropods, small vertebrates, fruit, nectar of e.g. balsa trees (Ochroma pyramidale) and... read more


Season Apr–May in Belize and Guatemala. Monogamous. Solitary, territorial breeder. Nest built by both sexes, an open cup of diverse plant... read more


Apparently resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common to fairly common throughout range. Invades modified habitats. As a result of deforestation, has expanded range S, reaching Costa Rica in 1980s... read more

Recommended citation

Fraga, R. (2020). Melodious Blackbird (Dives dives). 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).