Streak-backed Oriole (Icterus pustulatus), Portal, Cochise County
The Streak-backed Oriole is a casual visitor (and occasional nester) to Arizona from Mexico. This bird was photographed at a private residence in Cochise County on 29 December 2007.
The usual subspecies occurring in AZ and CA is Icterus pustulatus microstictus, a.ka. the Scarlet-headed Oriole, which breeds from Sonora and Chihuahua south to Jalisco.
Microstictus typically has fine streaking on the back while this individual has much coarser black markings on the back and may be of a more southerly subspecies such as
I. p. pustulatus. Comments from experienced observers regarding the subspecific identification of this bird would be of interest.
Photographs submitted to the Arizona Bird Committee for this Review Species.
photo by Michael Hilchey - 29 December, 2007