|Cuban Oriole Icterus melanopsis
(aka Black-cowled Oriole, Greater Antillean Oriole Icterus dominicensis)
This species has a complicated taxonomic history. It used to be included with Black-cowled Oriole but was split in 1999. (see Lanyon, S.M. & K.E. Omland, 1999. A molecular phylogeny of the blackbirds (Icteridae): five lineages revealed by cytochrome-b sequence data. - Auk, 116 (3):629-639).
Then we had Greater Antillean Oriole which consisted of 4 sub-species distributed in the West Indies of which one, I. d. melanopsis, is endemic to Cuba. See the distribution map at Birdlife International. Now, the HBW and Birdlife International checklist classifies it as Cuban Oriole Icterus melanopsis
|All of these species are black with yellow epaulets and a yellow rump but with varying amounts of yellow below. The Cuban species has the least yellow below being restricted to the thighs and the tips of the undertail coverts as you can see in photo 1. Note also the blue-grey base to the lower mandible.|
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