Saturday, June 16

Russet-backed oropendola | American birds

   ›      ›   American birds - Russet-backed oropendola - Psarocolius angustifrons

The russet-backed oropendola (Psarocolius angustifrons) belongs to the family of New World orioles and oropendolas, the Icteridae.

The russet-backed oropendola species is distributed in Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and Bolivia (South America). Males of these oropendola species are larger than the females. These oropendolas are polytypic species.
Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Russet-backed Oropendola Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Appearance, physical description and identification

The russet-backed oropendola (Psarocolius angustifrons) is a medium-sized oropendola. The male measures 45 to 50 cm and female measures 35 to 40 cm in length. The mean weight is 220 grams.

The russet-backed oropendola has overall olive and brown plumage. The upperparts are dark brown in color with a reddish-orange tinge. The tail is long, brown with contrastingly yellow outer rectrices. The wings are blackish brown.

The bill is long and sharp. The nominate subspecies has black bill, whereas the other subspecies have pale yellow-orange bill. The irises are blackish brown. The legs and feet are dark gray. Their call is a load squalling, barking sound.
Birds of South America - Photo of Russet-backed oropendola - Psarocolius angustifrons
1.Birds of South America - Photo of Russet-backed oropendola - Psarocolius angustifrons by Francesco Veronesi


Birds of South America - Photo of Russet-backed oropendola - Psarocolius angustifrons
2.Birds of South America - Photo of Russet-backed oropendola - Psarocolius angustifrons by Joao Quental

Birds of South America - Photo of Russet-backed oropendola - Psarocolius angustifrons
3.Birds of South America - Photo of Russet-backed oropendola - Psarocolius angustifrons by daochoa

Birds of South America - Photo of Russet-backed oropendola - Psarocolius angustifrons
4.Birds of South America - Photo of Russet-backed oropendola - Psarocolius angustifrons by Jo Richmond

Birds of South America - Photo of Russet-backed oropendola - Psarocolius angustifrons
5.Birds of South America - Photo of Russet-backed oropendola - Psarocolius angustifrons by Jo Richmond

Origin, geographical range and distribution

These russet-backed oropendola species are distributed in Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and Bolivia. There are six recognized subspecies.

The nominate subspecies P. a. angustifrons (black-billed oropendola) is distributed in Andean Mountain foothills in southern Colombia, eastern Ecuador, northeast Peru and western Brazil.

The subspecies P. a. alfredi (yellow-billed oropendola) is distributed in eastern slopes and foothills of Andean Mountains in southern Ecuador, Peru and central Bolivia.

The subspecies P. a. salmoni is distributed in western and central Andean Mountains in Colombia. The subspecies P. a. neglectus is distributed in Colombia–Venezuela border and western Andes of Venezuela.

The russet-backed oropendola subspecies P. a. sincipitalis is distributed in Andean western slopes in Colombia. The subspecies P. a. atrocastaneus is distributed in the Andean western slopes in Ecuador.

Ecosystem and habitat

These russet-backed oropendola species have moderate forest dependence. They normally occur in altitudes from 0 to 1500 meters.

The natural ecosystems and habitats of these oropendola species include tropical and subtropical moist lowland forests, floodplain-forests, swamp forests, tropical and subtropical moist montane forests and foothill forests.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these russet-backed oropendola species consists mainly of fruits. A variety of wild fruits, seeds of wild plants, fallen fruits and large insects are their primary food.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of the russet-backed oropendola nominate subspecies is from September to March in Colombia. The laying season is from June to December in Bolivia. These species are monogamous and colonial breeders.

The nesting sites include lower horizontal branches of trees. Their nests are long, woven, hanging baskets suspended form the end of the branch of a tree.

Migration and movement patterns

These russet-backed oropendola species are non-migratory resident birds. The populations in the higher altitudes may move to lower levels in winter.

Post breeding, the juvenile oropendolas may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. Within their range they may make local movements for feeding and breeding.

Russet-backed oropendola - Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Psarocolius angustifrons
  • Species author: (Spix, 1824)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Cassicus angustifrons Spix, 1824
  • Family: Icteridae › Passeriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Russet-backed oropendola, Chinese: 褐背拟掠鸟, French: Cassique roussâtre, German: Breithauben-Stirnvogel, Spanish: Cacique dorsirrufo, Russian: Узкоклювая оропендола, Japanese: セアカオオツリスドリ
  • Other names: Russet-backed Oropendola
  • Distribution: Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia
  • Diet and feeding habits: fruits, insects
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the russet-backed oropendola (Psarocolius angustifrons) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of the species is considered to be decreasing.

In most of its range, this oropendola species is reported as common to uncommon. The generation length is 4.6 years. Its distribution size is about 4,430,000 sq.km.

Habitat alteration, fragmentation and destruction, human intrusions and disturbance and deforestation are the main threats that are endangering the survival of these oropendola species.

IUCN and CITES status

The russet-backed oropendola (Psarocolius angustifrons) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable, either under the range size criterion, or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the oropendola species and has listed it as of "Least Concern".

The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the russet-backed oropendola (Psarocolius angustifrons).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Psarocolius angustifrons
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Passeriformes
Family:Icteridae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Psarocolius
Species:P. angustifrons
Binomial name:Psarocolius angustifrons
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
The russet-backed oropendola (Psarocolius angustifrons) is closely related to the green-billed oropendola (Psarocolius oleagineus).

The six recognized subspecies of the russet-backed oropendola (Psarocolius angustifrons) are: P. a. angustifrons (Spix, 1824),
P. a. alfredi (Des Murs, 1856),
P. a. neglectus (Chapman, 1914),
P. a. salmoni (P. L. Sclater, 1883),
P. a. atrocastaneus (Cabanis, 1873) and
P. a. sincipitalis (Cabanis, 1873).
Popular posts in Bird World
White eared pheasant photos White-cheeked tern
Green imperial-pigeon Short-eared owl
Great eared nightjar Stork-billed kingfisher
Blue-tailed bee-eater Malabar pied hornbill
Himalayan swiftlet Ward's trogon
European roller Blyth's kingfisher
Pallas's sandgrouse Yellow-eyed pigeon
Plum-headed parakeet Whistling hawk-cuckoo
Pallid scops owl Sykes's nightjar
Edible-nest swiftlet Indian roller
Scarlet-breasted woodpecker Grey-chinned minivet
Isabelline shrike Black-naped oriole
Common kingfisher South polar skua
Pin-tailed sandgrouse Common wood pigeon
Blossom-headed parakeet Indian cuckoo
Oriental scops owl Large-tailed nightjar
White-bellied drongo White-browed fantail
Eurasian jay Greater sand plover
White-rumped spinetail Oriental dollarbird
Blue-eared kingfisher Blue-bearded bee-eater
Common hoopoe Indian skimmer
Pomarine jaeger Chestnut-bellied sandgrouse
Wood sandpiper Black-bellied tern
Mountain imperial-pigeon Rufous woodpecker
Speckled wood pigeon Blue-winged parakeet
Common cuckoo Alexandrine parakeet
Jacobin cuckoo Eastern grass-owl
Andaman scops owl Sri Lanka frogmouth
Red-tailed shrike Nilgiri imperial-pigeon
White-throated fantail Black-naped monarch

1.Photo source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Russet-backed_Oropendula_-_Colombia_S4E4256_(23781027782).jpg (cropped)
Photo author: Francesco Veronesi | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 as on 6/16/18
2.Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jquental/14901810591/ (cropped)
Photo author: Joao Quental | License: CC BY 2.0 as on 6/16/18
3.Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dochoa/31197970416/ (cropped)
Photo author: daochoa | License: CC BY-NC 2.0 as on 6/16/18
4.Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/98867753@N07/9673512522/
Photo author: Jo Richmond | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 as on 6/16/18
5.Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/98867753@N07/9673513180/in/photostream/
Photo author: Jo Richmond | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 as on 6/16/18
Current topic on Birds of South America: Russet-backed oropendola - Psarocolius angustifrons with photos.
Contact State Tourism or travel agents for bird watching and wildlife tours.