Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Least Concern

Orange-backed Troupial (Icterus croconotus)


French: Oriole à dos orange German: Orangerückentrupial Spanish: Turpial amazónico

Ps[arocolius]. croconotus


, 1829,

“Mexico”; error = Rio Tapajós, Pará, Brazil


See remarks under I. jamacaii. Proposed taxon paraguayae (described from 265 km W of Puerto Casado, in Paraguayan Chaco), sometimes treated as a race of I. jamacaii, is subsumed into race strictifrons of present species. The taxon I. hauxwelli, described from “Chamicuros, Peru”, is generally considered to represent a variation of present species#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • I. c. croconotus (Wagler, 1829) – S Guyana and adjacent N Brazil (Roraima); also SE Colombia (Putumayo), E Ecuador (Napo and Pastaza) and E Peru E in Brazil S of R Amazon to W Pará (R Tapajós, R Araguaia) and Tocantins, and S to NW Bolivia (Pando).
  • I. c. strictifrons Todd, 1924 – E Bolivia (Beni and Santa Cruz) E to C Brazil (Mato Grosso), and S through Paraguayan Chaco to N Argentina (Salta, Formosa and Chaco).
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 23 cm; male average 48 g, female average 41 g. Nominate race has face, throat and upper breast black, crown to nape, neck side and upperparts, and underparts below breast... read more


    Song, by both sexes, a repetition of whistled melodious phrases, e.g. “chee-chew-hwe-chew... read more


    Nominate race mostly in riparian forest and edges of lakes, also in clearings and secondary growth... read more

    Food and feeding

    Nectar, fruits, insects and other arthropods, and small vertebrates. Nectar taken from wild flowers, including, among others, Erythrina... read more


    Season Jul–Aug in S Colombia, and in S of range breeds during rainy season (Nov–Mar) in dry Chaco. Probably monogamous. Solitary breeder.... read more


    Mostly sedentary; local movements have been reported at edge of range in Argentinian Chaco.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally common. Local but sometimes common in most of Amazonia; rather uncommon and local in Chaco, where possibly declining because of... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fraga, R. (2020). Orange-backed Troupial (Icterus croconotus). 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 22 February 2020).