Golden-tufted Grackle Macroagelaius imthurni

  • © Daniel Hinckley

The Golden-tufted Grackle and the Mountain Grackle (M. subalaris) are the only two members of the genus Magroagelaius. The two have fragmented distributions, with the Golden-tufted being a species of subtropical forests of the Tepui region of South America. Of the five major lineages (clades) of icterids, the Golden-tufted belongs to the blackbird-grackle group although very distantly related to the true grackles (Quiscalus spp.). Instead it is in an old line within the blackbird-grackles, and is related also to the Velvet-fronted Grackle (Lampropsar tanagrinus) and the Oriole Blackbird (Gymnomystax mexicanus). Golden-tufted Grackles roam in small, noisy and conspicuous flocks though the forest mid-story. They like wet forest, where trees are festooned with epiphytes, plants that they often probe into looking for food. They may also range to forest edge or higher up into elfin cloudforest. The song is a complex tinkling and whistled creation, and sometimes pairs give it as a duet. The strong sociality of this bird suggests that when breeding it may be communal or have helpers at the nest, but this needs to be confirmed. Golden-tufted Grackles, formerly known as Tepui Mountain-Grackles are slim black birds with long tails and a partially hidden tuft of bright yellow feathers on the “wingpit” of the bird.

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© Paul A. Schwartz

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Golden-tufted Grackle (Macroagelaius imthurni), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: