Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Least Concern

Spot-breasted Oriole (Icterus pectoralis)


French: Oriole maculé German: Tropfentrupial Spanish: Turpial pechipinto

Ps[arocolius]. pectoralis


, 1829,

Totolapán, Oaxaca, Mexico


Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • I. p. carolynae Dickerman, 1981 – S Mexico (Pacific slope of Guerrero and adjacent Oaxaca).
  • I. p. pectoralis (Wagler, 1829) – SE Mexico (E Oaxaca and C Chiapas S to Tonalá).
  • I. p. guttulatus Lafresnaye, 1844 – SE Mexico (from Pijijiapan, in Chiapas) S to arid valleys of Guatemala, Honduras and NW Nicaragua.
  • I. p. espinachi Ridgway, 1882 – SW Nicaragua (Rivas) and NW Costa Rica (Guanacaste).
  • Introduced (race espinachi) in SE USA (Miami, in Florida) and on Cocos I, off W Costa Rica.

    Descriptive notes

    c. 21 cm; male 52·6 g, female 44·9 g. Male nominate race is mostly pale orange, somewhat deeper orange on head, with black face, throat to upper breast, mantle and back, wing... read more


    Male song a slow series of rich clear whistles, variable, sometimes phrases repeated several times... read more


    Arid thorny woodland and scrub, with acacia (Acacia), mesquite (Prosopis), etc.;... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and other arthropods, fruits and nectar. Gleans insects from foliage, also finds hidden prey in rolled leaves. Commonly observed at... read more


    Season Apr–Jul; second broods reported. Monogamous; territorial. Nest built by female, with some help from male, said to be more carefully... read more


    Apparently resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to uncommon throughout most of range; locally common in Mexico; uncommon and local in Costa Rica. Generally less abundant than other... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fraga, R. (2020). Spot-breasted Oriole (Icterus pectoralis). 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 February 2020).