Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Least Concern

Yellow-winged Blackbird (Agelasticus thilius)


French: Carouge galonné German: Goldschulterstärling Spanish: Varillero aliamarillo

Turdus Thilius


, 1782,



Analysis of genetic data indicates that relationship of present species to A. xanthophthalmus and A. cyanopus is not close. Individuals somewhat intermediate between nominate race and petersii occur S of 42° S in Patagonia (Chile and Argentina). Race alticola rather different to others in size and female morphology, although characters of specimens in AMNH individually variable, thereby reducing the distinctiveness of the form. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. t. alticola (Todd, 1932) – Titicaca Blackbird – SE Peru (Cuzco, Puno) and W Bolivia (La Paz, Cochabamba and Oruro).
  • A. t. thilius (Molina, 1782) – Yellow-winged Blackbird – Chile (Atacama S to Los Lagos).
  • A. t. petersii (Laubmann, 1934) – Argentina (from at least Santiago del Estero, Santa Fe and Corrientes S to Santa Cruz), Uruguay and SE Brazil (mostly coastal marshes of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul); and S Chile (Aysén and Magallanes); in austral winter extends to extreme NE Argentina (Salta, Chaco, Formosa) and most of Paraguay, with few records in Bolivia (Izozog).
  • Descriptive notes

    Male average 17·9 cm and 33·5 g; female 28·8 g (petersii). Male nominate race is entirely dull black, except for yellow marginal and lesser... read more


    Male song (nominate race and petersii) quite variable, but includes trills of 3–7... read more


    Patches of emergent aquatic plants, including cat-tails (Typha), bulrush (... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including emerging aquatic insects, and seeds. Stomach contents of 85 adults from Buenos Aires province (Argentina) comprised 78%... read more


    Season Oct–Dec in Chile and Argentina. Apparently monogamous. Colonial breeder, colonies usually in emergent marsh vegetation, less... read more


    Resident in Uruguay and Brazil. Possibly some altitudinal movement in Peru–Bolivia (race ... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Rather common over most of its range, becoming naturally rarer or local towards subtropics. Scarce but widespread non-breeding visitor in Paraguay.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fraga, R. (2019). Yellow-winged Blackbird (Agelasticus thilius). 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 21 May 2019).