Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)


Yellow-shouldered Blackbird (Agelaius xanthomus)


French: Carouge de Porto Rico German: Gelbschulterstärling Spanish: Sargento puertorriqueño

Icterus xanthomus

P. L. Sclater

, 1862,

Mexico; error = Puerto Rico


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

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. x. xanthomus (P. L. Sclater, 1862) – local in Puerto Rico; formerly widespread.
  • A. x. monensis Barnés, 1945 – Mona I and Monito I, off W Puerto Rico.
  • Descriptive notes

    20–23 cm; male average 41 g, female average 35 g. Male nominate race is black with bluish gloss; lesser and median upperwing-coverts yellow (tips of medians sometimes... read more


    Song a rasping nasal “nyaaaaaa”, by both sexes, sometimes by several individuals in... read more


    Restricted to mangroves (Avicennia nitida, Rhizopora mangle, Laguncularia... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet mainly insects, particularly moths (Lepidoptera) and crickets (Gryllidae); takes nectar from flowers of Erythrina, Inga... read more


    Season Apr–Aug; on Mona I (race monensis) more protracted, Feb–Nov. Monogamous. Nests in small colonies (often 4... read more


    Apparently resident.

    Status and conservation

    ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species: present in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands EBA. Uncommon to rare, and local. Nominate race formerly occurred throughout Puerto Rico,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fraga, R. (2019). Yellow-shouldered Blackbird (Agelaius xanthomus). 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 7 December 2019).