Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Least Concern

Pacific Cacique (Cacicus pacificus)


French: Cassique du Pacifique German: Chocókassike Spanish: Cacique del Pacífico

Cacicus uropygialis pacificus


, 1915,

Alto Bonito, Río Sucio, Chocó, Colombia


Sometimes regarded as conspecific with C. uropygialis, but differs notably in both voice and size (much shorter wings and tail); hitherto treated as conspecific with C. microrhynchus, but mitochondrial DNA indicates that C. pacificus is more closely related to C. uropygialis#R, making treatment in HBW untenable. From C. microrhynchus, differs in its slightly richer red rump (1); stronger and more extensive concealed white bases to dorsal feathering (1); much broader-based lower mandible (by 2 mm) yet virtually same-length bill (at least 2); slightly longer wing and tail (based on published measurements#R allow 1); fairly distinctive song, reaching much lower maximum frequency (at least 2) and with different note shape (principally downslurred vs irregularly overslurred) (1)#R. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

E Panama (Darién) and Pacific lowlands of Colombia S to SW Ecuador (El Oro).

Descriptive notes

Male 23–24 cm, 62·5–71·7 g; female 20·5–21·5 cm, 50–57·6 g. Rather long-tailed cacique with long, slightly decurved bill. Male is mostly jet-black with slight bluish gloss,... read more


Noisy, like most icterids. Song (in Ecuador) has been described a melancholy “whip, wheeo wheeo... read more


Humid wet forest, woodland borders and second growth in lowlands and foothills, mainly below 700 m... read more

Food and feeding

Diet not well known, but presumably similar to that of congenerics. Acrobatically inspects dead leaves and palm fronds, and forages... read more


Very poorly known; in Colombia, nestbuilding in Aug in Valle and birds in breeding condition in Jan–May in Chocó and Córdoba, and in Panama... read more


No information. Possibly some altitudinal or other seasonal movements, following available food... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Species is almost confined to the Chocó EBA. Common to locally abundant. No threats known.

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Pacific Cacique (Cacicus pacificus). 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 February 2020).