ANIMAL: Venezuelan Troupial Icterus icterus Type of Animal: Songbird Habitat: Dry woodland/woodland edges, lush dense woodland, gallery forest/edges, scrub, scrub woodland, plains, savanna, dry llanos, plantations, gardens, overgrown/wooded grasslands, forest edge, fragmented habitats, shrubland, tropical/subtropical dry forest, parks, thorn forest, coastal desert scrub, intermontane valleys, found from sea level to 1,640.42 ft Location(s): Native to N Venezuela, NE Colombia bordering Venezuela, Aruba, Curacao, & Isla Margarita. Introduced to Bonaire, St Thomas, & Puerto Rico. Vagrants occur in Antigua, Trinidad, Dominica, St. John, & Grenada. Appearance: Orange front & back, gray-black bulky bill, black face/head/upper breast, black wings w/ white streak, darker long wedge-shaped tail, bare blue skin patches form bold white irises, juveniles paler than adults w/ duller eye skin Food/Diet: Fruit, arthropods/arthropod larvae, eggs, small vertebrates, berries, nectar, seeds, floral parts of prickly pears Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Breeding in zoos, wildlife centers, & aviculture Lifestyle: Monogamous pairs or small family flocks of pair & 2-4 chicks. Sometimes older clutch helps rear younger clutch. Pair can have up to 3 broods a year. Additional Info: Called: Male: Cock Female: Hen Young: Chick Group: Flock Weight: Male: 2.31-3.1 oz Female: 2.06-2.57 oz Gestation: 23 days Life Span: 11 years Height: 9.5 in Body Length: 9.5 in Tail Length: 2 in Main predators are falcons, hawks, snakes, crocodilians, & felids. Also called Northern or Common Troupial. Have loud piping song or whistling, warbling song. Both sexes sing. Males sing most often in early morning. Bot flies often parasitize nestlings, sometimes killing them. Botfly larvae burrow under nestlings’ skin. Sometimes kept as pets/cagebirds due to song. Fun Fact(s): Former Miss International Edymar Martinez wore image of this bird as national costume in 2015 in Tokyo. This is Venezuela’s national bird. Appears on reverse side of Venezuelan 500 bolivar soberano note. Very bold & inquisitive birds. Name comes from French troupiale, from troupe, due to family flock living. Icterus derives from Greek word for jaundice symbolizing bird believed to cure it (most likely Eurasian Golden Oriole). Old World Orioles not closely related to New World Orioles like this species. Don’t build own nests, instead taking over nests of other birds-nests sometimes vacant but sometimes active w/ eggs/hatchlings, which get eaten/killed by troupials. Once nest taken over, it’s defended to the death against intruding birds. Nests always adapted to own needs. Nests sometimes parasitized by Shiny Cowbirds, which lay eggs in troupial nests. Pairs often use 2 nests, sometimes 3 or 4.