Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Least Concern

Yellow-winged Cacique (Cassiculus melanicterus)


French: Cassique à ailes jaunes German: Haubenkassike Spanish: Cacique mexicano
Other common names: Mexican Cacique

Icterus melanicterus


, 1825,

Temascaltepec, Mexico




W Mexico from Sonora S along Pacific slope to Chiapas, extending inland along Balsas drainage to SW México; also S Guatemala and El Salvador.

Descriptive notes

Male average 31·7 cm, 96·3 g; female average 27·8 cm, 69·9 g. A large and slender cacique. Male is mostly glossy black, including conspicuous long nuchal crest; most of... read more


Song variable, often “krrow-krrow-kshárá-chee”. Has many calls, including whistles and rattles;... read more


Edges and clearings in dry to mesic deciduous forest, thorn-scrub, savanna and pastures with large... read more

Food and feeding

Insects and other invertebrates, probably small vertebrates, also fruits and nectar. Reported as feeding on brush-shaped inflorescences of... read more


Season Apr–Aug. Mating system not well known, possibly ranging from monogamy to moderate polygyny. Nests solitarily or in small colonies of... read more


Apparently sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common to fairly common in most of range; rare in N. Has recently spread S and colonized S Guatemala and El Salvador, where possibly still expanding... read more

Recommended citation

Fraga, R. (2020). Yellow-winged Cacique (Cassiculus melanicterus). 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).