Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Least Concern

Yellow-hooded Blackbird (Chrysomus icterocephalus)


French: Carouge à capuchon German: Gelbkopfstärling Spanish: Varillero capuchino

O[riolus]. icterocephalus


, 1766,

Cayenne, French Guiana


Genus often subsumed into Agelaius. Differences in size, female plumage and vocalizations (race bogotensis seems frequently to utter pure downslurred whistles, apparently lacking in nominate) are worthy of further evaluation, but may not prove strong (based on preliminary review in AMNH). Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. i. icterocephalus (Linnaeus, 1766) – Yellow-hooded Blackbird – E Panama (Darién)#R, N Colombia (S to Valle, N Tolima, Meta and Vichada), Venezuela (mostly N of R Orinoco), Trinidad, the Guianas, N Brazil (Roraima; both banks of R Amazon E to Amapá and NW Maranhão) and NE Peru (Loreto).
  • C. i. bogotensis (Chapman, 1914) – Bogota Blackbird – NC Colombia (highlands around Bogotá).
  • Introduced around Lima (Peru).

    Descriptive notes

    c. 17–19 cm; male average 35·9 g, female average 26·8 g. Male nominate race has head to throat and upper breast bright yellow, lores black; rest of... read more


    Male has two song types, one consisting of brief notes or whistles followed by harsh buzz, the... read more


    Marshes (permanent or seasonal) with emergent aquatic plants such as cat-tails (Typha),... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet seeds and insects. Among seeds cultivated rice important; feeds also on wild rice (Oryza perennis). Insects in stomach... read more


    Season mainly Jul–Oct in Venezuela (Oct–Nov in llanos), May–Nov in Trinidad, and Mar–Sept in Suriname; Mar–May in C Colombia (race... read more


    Largely resident. Local movements reported from areas with strongly marked dry season, such as... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to locally common. Race bogotensis, with very small range, may merit local protection.

    Recommended citation

    Fraga, R. (2020). Yellow-hooded Blackbird (Chrysomus icterocephalus). 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 17 February 2020).