Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)


Mountain Grackle (Macroagelaius subalaris)


French: Carouge montagnard German: Braunachselstärling Spanish: Chango colombiano
Other common names: Colombian Mountain Grackle

Quiscalus sub-alaris


, 1840,

Bogotá, Colombia


Sometimes regarded as conspecific with M. imthurni, but they differ appreciably in body and bill proportions, plumage and vocalizations, as well as genetically#R. Monotypic.


E Andes of Colombia from Norte de Santander and Santander (including Serranía de los Yariguíes) S on W slope to Boyacá (formerly also Cundinamarca).

Descriptive notes

Male 29–30 cm, female 27–28 cm. Slender and long-tailed icterid. Plumage is almost entirely black with blue gloss; axillaries and most of underwing-coverts dark... read more


Song variable, sometimes starting with low clicks and buzzing notes, followed by series of... read more


Humid upper montane forest rich in epiphytes, particularly oak forest (Quercus humboldtii... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on insects and other arthropods, particularly weevils (Curculio­nidae), Orthoptera, bugs (Hemiptera), hymenopterans and spiders (... read more


Season May–Sept. Nests solitarily. Co-operative breeder, groups of 4–5 individuals attending nest or fledglings; also one adult... read more


Apparently resident.

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species: present in Colombian East Andes EBA. Rare and extremely local. Estimates of global population range from 1000 to 3000 individuals. Range... read more

Recommended citation

Fraga, R. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Mountain Grackle (Macroagelaius subalaris). 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).