Backyard Birds


The caciques a part of the New World (Americas) blackbird family.

Distribution / Range

They are resident breeders in tropical South America and north to Mexico, where they inhabit open woodland or denser forests.

They are typically seen in small groups.

Breeding / Nesting

Most are colonial breeders. They construct long, hanging, bag-shaped nests – several of which are hung up in a tree suspended from the end of a branch.

They may choose a tree with an active wasp nest as a deterrent to predators.

The eggs are incubated by the female alone.


These slim birds have long tails and a predominantly black plumage. The long pointed bill is pale greenish, yellowish or bluish – depending on species. Most adult caciques have blue eyes. Females are usually smaller than the males.

Diet / Feeding

Caciques mostly feed on large insects and fruit.

Calls / Vocalizations

These vocal birds roduce a wide range of songs, sometimes including mimicry.


  • Selva Cacique, Cacicus koepckeae
  • Golden-winged Cacique, Cacicus chrysopterus
  • Mountain Cacique, Cacicus chrysonotus
    • Northern Mountain Cacique, Cacicus (chrysonotus) leucoramphus
  • Ecuadorian Cacique, Cacicus sclateri
  • Solitary Black Cacique or Solitary Cacique, Cacicus solitarius
  • Yellow-winged Cacique, Cacicus melanicterus

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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