Streak-backed Oriole – Accepted

1. 01 May 1931

SY male

Murray Reservoir SD



ph., SDNHM 14521

2. 22 Sep 1962

ASY male

Tijuana R. valley SD




3. 06 Nov–21 Dec 1977

HY male

Furnace Creek Ranch INY




4. 10 Dec 1984–29 Apr 1985


Pacific Beach SD




5. 09–18 Dec 1991


Gene Pumping Plant SBE




6. 29 Dec 1996–27 Mar 1997


Huntington Beach ORA



Figs. 317, 318, ph., FN 51:805

7. 24 Nov 2003

AHY male

Big Sur R. mouth MTY





Streak-backed Oriole – Not accepted, identification not established

13 Oct 1962


Tijuana R. valley SD




08 Oct 1963


Tijuana R. valley SD




19 Sep 1983


Palos Verdes Peninsula LA





Streak-backed Oriole – Not submitted

02–05 Jan 1966


Westwood Village LA



Garrett & Dunn (1981)








Figures 317, 318 (above, below). A birder craning his neck to see the underside and wing of this Streak-backed Oriole—photographed on 3 January 1997 in Huntington Beach, Orange County (1996-178; Monte M. Taylor)—could easily mistake it for a more common congener, particularly a young male Bullock’s. One look at the distinctive dark streaks on the back, however, should quickly dispel any confusion, although it remains unclear whether this is a young bird or an adult female. Only seven Streak-backed Orioles have been found in California (but see Appendix H), and this bird was only the second one to definitely overwinter in the state.









Streak-backed Oriole

STREAK-BACKED ORIOLE Icterus pustulatus (Wagler, 1829)

Accepted: 7 (70%)

Treated in Appendix H: yes

Not accepted: 3

CBRC review: all records

Not submitted/reviewed: 1

Large color images: see Figures

This oriole is considered resident from northern Sonora south along the Pacific slope of Middle America to northwestern Costa Rica. The northern pustulatus group, which is resident from Sonora south to Nayarit, includes I. p. microstictus, the subspecies that accounts for all United States specimens (Phillips 1995). The species wanders casually north to southeastern Arizona, where it has bred, and individuals have reached north-central New Mexico, the Upper Texas Coast (Eubanks et al. 2006), southeastern Oregon (Denny 1994), and Wisconsin (Schultz 1999). After two hypothetical reports from Baja California Sur (Howell et al. 2001), one was photographed in the southern part of the state on 22 January 2006 (NAB 60:289).

The first Streak-backed Oriole to be recorded in the United States was a first-spring male collected on 1 May 1931 at Murray Reservoir in San Diego County (Huey 1931b). Four of California’s remaining six records are from fall and early winter (22 September–21 December), and the other two birds wintered in the state (10 December–29 April); see also Appendix H. The Streak-backed Oriole’s tendency toward late fall and winter occurrence along the coast of California is consistent with the pattern noted for certain other “Mexican” strays, such as the Greater Pewee and Dusky-capped Flycatcher. The northernmost coastal bird—an adult male encountered on 24 November 2003 at the Big Sur River mouth in Monterey County—could not be refound. An adult male found on 22 September 1962 in the Tijuana River valley, San Diego County, was unusually early by California standards, but Arizona has hosted several in late summer and early fall in addition to its few breeding records (Corman and Wise-Gervais 2005).


[BLACK-BACKED ORIOLE Icterus abeillei (Lesson, 1839) – see Supplemental List]

[COMMON CHAFFINCH Fringilla coelebs Linnaeus, 1758 – see hypothetical section and Appendix H]