Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Least Concern

Montezuma Oropendola (Psarocolius montezuma)


French: Cassique de Montezuma German: Montezumastirnvogel Spanish: Cacique de Moctezuma

Cacicus Montezuma


, 1830,

#R, Mexico


Sometimes placed in genus Gymnostinops. In the past, has been considered conspecific with both P. guatimozinus and P. cassini. Monotypic.


Atlantic slope of E Mexico from San Luis Potosí and S Tamaulipas#R S to Quintana Roo, and Caribbean slope from Belize S to C Panama (Colón; rarely further E).

Descriptive notes

Male average 47·5 cm, 521 g; female average 39·2 cm, 246 g. The largest icterid, some males reaching 562 g. Has bare facial skin pale blue, conspicuous pink... read more


Loud and impressive male song starts with low-pitched gurgles, grows to a remarkable crescendo in... read more


Humid tropical forest, often in clearings and edges (particularly when breeding); also riparian... read more

Food and feeding

Insects and other arthropods, also frogs and other small vertebrates; also much fruit, and nectar of large flowers e.g. balsa (Ochroma... read more


Season Feb–Aug in Mexico (Quintana Roo) and Jan–Aug in Costa Rica. Mating system harem polygyny. Colonial breeder, 21–85... read more


Apparently sedentary; possibly some local altitudinal movements in Costa Rica and Panama.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common to uncommon. Tolerates, and may even prosper from, moderate deforestation. Found in many national parks and other protected areas.

Recommended citation

Fraga, R. (2020). Montezuma Oropendola (Psarocolius montezuma). 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 28 January 2020).