Bar-winged Oriole Icterus maculialatus

  • © Alan Lewis

The Bar-winged Oriole is a range restricted species found from southern Mexico to El Salvador. It is a nice looking oriole, but perhaps not as bright and gaudy as some. In fact its pattern is not that different from that of the Baltimore Oriole, having a black hood, black back, orange-yellow underparts and rump. The one feature that is rather unusual is that the lower wing bar is not created by a white tip to the greater coverts, instead each greater covert has a well defined white corner, that makes for a very parallel-sided but broken up wing bar that is unique when seen well. Perhaps for such an unassuming looking oriole it is interesting that although the relationships of orioles are very well known and defined, this is the one species which has been most difficult to pin down as it has no single close relative within the orioles. Instead it appears to be an early offshoot of the group that includes all the slim, long-tailed, and think billed orioles – the group which includes most of the Caribbean orioles, Hooded, Orchard etc. The Bar-winged Oriole is little known, it is seen alone in pairs of small family groups. It takes open forests with a large component of oaks, and while it forages for arthropods it also nectars on flowers. It is overall a rather low density species, never common. The song is slow and methodical, flute-like.

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© Kristof Zyskowski

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

Recommended Citation

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