Solitary Black Cacique Cacicus solitarius

  • © Claudio Gonz├ílez R.

This cacique is well named; it is entirely black and often found by itself. However, it is not uncommon to see it in pairs, but certainly it is not a flocking species. Sometimes it goes by the simpler Solitary Cacique. It is found throughout Amazonia, ranging south to the Pantanal, Chaco and south along the Uruguay River as far south as northern Buenos Aires province in Argentina. It is a relatively large cacique with an entirely black, and dark-eyed, unlike other all black caciques that show a blue or yellow eye. Also obvious is the nearly white colored bill, the shape of which is long and pointed, almost chisel-like. Solitary Black Caciques live in the understory to mid-story, the latter particularly where there are vine tangles on which they can clamber and scamper up. They can be found in gallery forests, particularly in the south of the range or oxbow lakes (cochas) or shrubby river islands in Amazonia. They are associated with swampy forest or forests close to water. Vocally this species is quite amazing, giving some very odd sounding vocalizations. Some are delivered very slowly and methodically, their tempo alone being unusual. Some are repetitive vocalizations, some loud, others very soft and characteristically clearer more pleasant sounds are sometimes broken up by rattles, gurgles, or growls. Some aspects of their vocalizations suggest that of Cyanocorax jays. It is also known to mimic other species.

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© Bret Whitney

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

Recommended Citation

Solitary Black Cacique (Cacicus solitarius), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: