Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Least Concern

Tawny-shouldered Blackbird (Agelaius humeralis)


French: Petit Carouge German: Braunschulterstärling Spanish: Sargento humeral

Leistes humeralis


, 1827,

Havana area, Cuba


Sister to A. xanthomus#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. h. humeralis (Vigors, 1827) – Cuba, including larger cays on N coast, and some outlying islands (e.g. Jardines de la Reina Archipelago); also W Hispaniola (W Haiti).
  • A. h. scopulus Garrido, 1970 – Cayo Cantiles (E of I of Pines), off SW Cuba.
  • Descriptive notes

    19–22 cm; male average 38·3 g, female average 34·5 g. Male nominate race is black, slightly glossed bluish; lesser and median upperwing-coverts tawny, median coverts tipped... read more


    Song, by both sexes, 1–2 protracted buzzing notes, sometimes introduced with shorter buzz at higher... read more


    Open woodland and woodland edge, farmland and rice fields; in Haiti occurs along sloughs and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and other arthropods, small lizards, seeds; also fruits and nectar. Insects taken include bees (Apoidea). Forages on ground, also... read more


    Season Apr–Aug in Cuba; fledged chicks reported May–Jul. Monogamous. Breeds solitarily, sometimes in small loose colonies; reported inter-... read more


    Largely resident. Some limited movement apparently; nominate race recorded as an accidental in SE... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common in Cuba; uncommon and local in Haiti. In Haiti found only in W, mostly at mouth of R Artibonite, also in area of Port-de-Paix; rarely or... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fraga, R. (2019). Tawny-shouldered Blackbird (Agelaius humeralis). 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 20 November 2019).