Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Least Concern

Venezuelan Troupial (Icterus icterus)


French: Oriole troupiale German: Orangetrupial Spanish: Turpial venezolano

O[riolus]. icterus


, 1766,

“in America calidiore” = Cumaná, Sucre, Venezuela


See remarks under I. jamacaii. Race metae fairly distinctive, but rather variable; requires further study, including of its voice. Distribution of black and orange in plumage of metae slightly approaches that of I. croconotus, but this probably reflects convergence, as its other characters are unique. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • I. i. ridgwayi (E. J. O. Hartert, 1902) – N Colombia (Guajira and N Cesar) and lowlands of N Venezuela E to Sucre and Margarita I; also Leeward Antilles (Aruba and Curaçao).
  • I. i. icterus (Linnaeus, 1766) – Venezuelan Troupial – N & C Venezuela from Carabobo and W Apure to S Monagas and N Bolívar.
  • I. i. metae Phelps, Jr & Aveledo, 1966 – Meta Troupial – W Venezuela (S Apure) and adjacent NE Colombia (Arauca, Vichada).
  • Introduced (ridgwayi) to Puerto Rico, Virgin Is and E Leeward Antilles (Bonaire); populations in E Andes of Colombia presumably also originated from escapes#R#R.

    Descriptive notes

    23–27 cm; in Venezuela, male average 67·3 g, female average 58·5 g; for introduced population in Puerto Rico, male 65·5–88 g, female 60... read more


    Song, by both sexes, loud repetitions of rich melodious phrases of 2–4 elements, e.g. “... read more


    In Aruba and coastal Venezuela found in xerophytic woodland of acacia (Acacia) and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Nectar, fruits, seeds, arthropods and small vertebrates. Stomach contents from Aruba and Curaçao included mostly insects, i.e.... read more


    Season Mar–Dec, during both wet and dry seasons, in Colombia and Venezuela, and probably in all months on Aruba and Curaçao;... read more


    Apparently resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to fairly common or locally common; said to be abundant on Aruba and Curaçao. Reports of this species from several of the Lesser... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fraga, R. (2020). Venezuelan Troupial (Icterus icterus). 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 23 January 2020).