Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Least Concern

Yellow-billed Cacique (Amblycercus holosericeus)


French: Cassique à bec jaune German: Gelbschnabelkassike Spanish: Cacique piquiclaro
Other common names: Prevost's Yellow-billed Cacique (nominate race and flavirostris), Chapman's Yellow-billed Cacique (race australis)

Sturnus holosericeus

W. Deppe

, 1830,

Alvarado, Veracruz, Mexico


Genetic divergence between nominate race and australis suggests that separate species may be involved#R; races appear to differ little in nesting habits and voice, but exhibit some biometric and morphological differences; further research required. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. h. holosericeus (W. Deppe, 1830) – Western Yellow-billed Cacique – SE Mexico (S Tamaulipas) and across C America S to NW Colombia (Cartagena).
  • A. h. flavirostris Chapman, 1915 – Pacific lowlands from W Colombia (Chocó) S to N Peru (Tumbes).
  • A. h. australis Chapman, 1919 – Eastern Yellow-billed Cacique – Santa Marta Mts (N Colombia), Sierra de Perijá and Coastal Range of C Venezuela (Distrito Federal), and Andes from SW Venezuela S to Peru and C Bolivia (Santa Cruz).
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 21·5 cm and 68·6 g, female 20·5 cm and 53 g; male 50·3 g, female 47·3 g (australis). Male nominate race has plumage entirely... read more


    Series of paired loud whistles, “sh-wheu”, female sometimes may answer with dry harsh... read more


    Dense thickets, including bamboo, often near streams; thick undergrowth in secondary forest,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly insects, e.g. Orthoptera, bugs (Hemiptera), Hymenoptera and beetles (Coleoptera) in stomach contents; also other arthropods,... read more


    Season Apr–Jun in Costa Rica, Jun in Colombia and Dec in Ecuador. Apparently monogamous. Nest in Costa Rica a bulky cup of plant... read more


    Apparently sedentary; possibly some altitudinal movements in highlands.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to uncommon and local. Tolerant of partial deforestation; uses dense second growth for nesting. Present in many protected areas.

    Recommended citation

    Fraga, R. (2020). Yellow-billed Cacique (Amblycercus holosericeus). 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 27 January 2020).