Martinique Oriole Icterus bonana

  • © Vincent Lemoine

As this name implies this oriole is endemic to Martinique, in the Lesser Antilles. Of the three Lesser Antillean orioles the Martinique has the most unusual plumage coloration. Rather than a black head and neck, the Martinique Oriole is dark cinnamon, while the back, wings and tail are black. Underneath on the lower breast to the undertail coverts, lower back and rump, and shoulders this bird is tawny. Males are brighter than females, but the differences are slight. This species is not common, but widespread on the island away from heavily urbanized sites. It can be found in highest abundances in moist highland habitats, but it is also present in lowland dry forest habitats. The shallow hanging nest is placed beneath a wide leaf such as that of a banana plant, palm or Heliconia. This oriole has apparently declined in numbers in the last few decades. Parasitism by the Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis) has been blamed for the decline, although habitat alteration and urbanization certainly play a part as well.

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Recommended Citation

Martinique Oriole (Icterus bonana), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: