Fun Troupial Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat
Troupial facts for kids are educational!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.0 Min

Do you love songbirds like house wrens? Then, you'd love troupials too. Troupials (Icterus) are bird species endemic to Central and South America and are known for their bright colors and feeding on the fruit of the large cacti plants in the dry woodlands of the South American regions.

Troupials are divided into three species which include the Venezuelan troupial (Icterus icterus), campo troupial (Icterus jamacaii), and the orange-backed troupial (Icterus croconotus). These birds are found in Northeastern Colombia, Venezuela, the Caribbean Islands (Aruba, Curacao), Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Peru.

The Venezuelan troupial, unlike the other two troupials, is further subdivided into three sub-species which include the Icterus icterus icterus, Icterus icterus metae, and the Icterus icterus ridgwayi.

If you liked these facts about troupial, then you'll surely like these facts about red-tailed hawks and European goldfinches too!

Troupial Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a troupial?

Troupials are members of the genus Icterus divided into three species the Venezuelan troupial (Icterus icterus), campo troupial (Icterus jamacaii), and the orange-backed troupial (Icterus croconotus). All of these birds are native to South America. These birds are a New World Oriole species and resemble the Orioles closely, except that they are the larger songbird.

The Venezuelan troupial (Icterus icterus) is further divided into three subspecies, the Icterus icterus icterus, Icterus icterus metae, and the Icterus icterus ridgwayi. All three aforementioned Venezuelan troupials together have been named as the National bird of Venezuela.

What class of animal does a troupial belong to?

The troupial belongs to the Aves class of animals. The Aves class consists solely of birds and belongs to the family of Ardeidae.

How many troupials are there in the world?

An exact count of the population of these bird species is tough to state due to them being found all over South America, and all three species are listed as a species of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, meaning that their population is mostly stable as their breeding, nesting and other aspects of life are recorded to keep a check on the population of adults and the young ones.

Where does a troupial live?

All three species of these South American birds inhabit a savanna or grassland habitat range. These bird species are neo-tropical, meaning they live in Central and South America.

The three subspecies of the Venezuelan troupial mostly inhabit Northeastern Colombia, Northwestern Colombia, and the Northeastern tip of Colombia to the Northwestern range of Venezuela. The Icterus icterus ridgwayi can be found in Puerto Rico too because it was introduced there.

The campo troupial and the orange-backed troupial are found in northern Brazil and the Amazonian range in northwest Brazil.

These bird species can also be found in the Caribbean islands and Aruba, Curacao, Virgin Islands, and Isla Margarita.

What is a troupial's habitat?

These birds are found in a different range of habitats in comparison to each other and have different nesting and breeding spots.

Venezuelan troupial prefers a habitat range with heavy rainfall and lives in gallery forests, dry woodlands, and arid scrubs. They can also be found in fruit plantations.

The campo troupial species are found in dry habitats and make their nest in cacti in the Caatinga zone, an area in the northern part of Brazil.

The orange-backed troupial species prefer open spaces and nest in tall trees as the river or lake edges. These birds also inhabit swamps in the northern parts of Brazil.

Who do troupials live with?

Most of the birds in the Icterus or troupial family are solitary in nature but may also be found in a pair and are known to join small groups after breeding season.

How long does a troupial live?

The lifespan of the Venezuelan troupial, campo troupial, and the orange-backed troupial in the wild cannot be stated to an exact number as there is not much data on the average lifespan of these birds.

However, these birds have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years in captivity, provided a proper diet and care.

How do they reproduce?

Troupials are a notorious species of birds when it comes to nesting as they do not make their own nests but usually steal the nests of other birds and in doing so, eat the eggs that are present in the nests of other birds that they steal.

These tropical birds are known to be monogamous in nature and usually pair for a lifetime. The time at which they attain sexual maturity is not known however due to a lack of data.

Different troupials have different breeding seasons as the mating season of the campo troupial occurs in February and the mating season of the Venezuelan troupial occurs in March to September in all South American regions where they are found, except in Venezuela, where it is from May through June.

Orange-backed troupials mate depending on their location as mating occurs during July-February or September-November.

Despite the different mating seasons, these species of troupials lay three whitish-pink eggs on average and also have a common incubation and nesting period. The incubation period of the eggs of these birds lasts for 15-16 days.

After the young are hatched, both the parents will feed them, and these hatchlings stay in the nest for 21-23 days before they start foraging with their parents.

What is their conservation status?

All three species of troupials are listed as a species of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List due to their vast population, and not endangered.

However, just because they are species of least concern does not mean they are not in danger.

Troupials in Venezuela have seen a population decline due to them being domesticated but thankfully not enough to be alarmed about as they are protected as the National Bird of Venezuela, and the campo troupial is hunted in northern Brazil's Caatinga zone which has led to calls for placing stricter regulations on the hunting and capturing of these birds.

Their main threats remain hawks and falcons.

Troupial Fun Facts

What do troupials look like?

Facts and information about troupials are amusing!

Troupials are large birds with wedge-shaped tails that are lengthy and have a long, chisel-like bill.

Venezuelan troupials have black and orange plumage with a grey lower mandible. The black color starts at their head and covers the top of the bill and covers the entire neck and upper part of the breast.

The underparts are orange starting from the belly to the underside tail feather. Venezuelan troupials have a white band running in a closed position on their shoulders.

Campo troupials have an orange, black and white plumage that is accompanied by their black hood, wings, and breast. The black wings have a pattern of white and orange feathers on them, and the feathers of the upper and lower back are orange in color along with the rump and upper tail.

The tails are black, and the feathers are pointed with gray legs and feet and orange-yellow eyes.

Orange-backed troupials also have an orange, black and white plumage with the neck and back orange as well. These birds too have wedge-shaped tails like the aforementioned species of troupials with a black upper breast and orange nape, neck, and crown.

The wings are black and have an orange and white pattern to them with black bills and orange or yellow eyes.

In the case of the young campo troupial, the patch on under-parts is a dull orange-yellow in comparison to the bright-orange of the adult, and they might have a few brown feathers on their tails.

How cute are they?

These birds have a striking plumage due to which they are extremely easy to spot! They are pretty and them being songbirds, like magnolia warblers, with an amazing voice makes them an adorable species!

How do they communicate?

Troupials are known for their singing abilities, especially males as the females do not sing much and only do so as a response to the males.

These birds communicate with each other through long repetitive notes which sound similar to the Baltimore orioles. The troupial song has two to three notes within repeated phrases.

How big is a troupial?

All three species of troupials are large orioles. They are generally 7.8-9 in (20-23 cm) in length. In comparison, the golden oriole is similar and around 7.4-9.4 in (18.8-23.9 cm) in length.  

How fast can a troupial fly?

Unfortunately, there is not much data about how fast these birds can fly.

How much does a troupial weigh?

Troupials are lightweight and all adults weigh between 2-2.3 oz (58-67 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name assigned to either sex of these birds.

What would you call a baby troupial?

A baby troupial, like all other baby birds, is called a chick.

What do they eat?

Troupials are omnivorous in nature and have a mixed diet of fruits and insects. The fruits that they eat are cacti, mango, papaya, dates, cherries, and kenepa.

Are they dangerous?

No, to humans they are not. To other birds, though, they are! Troupials steal nests of other species of birds, evict them forcefully and in the process, destroy the eggs and young that are present in the nests!

Would they make a good pet?

There is not much description of troupials as domesticated birds so it is tough to state if they make good pets or not.

Did you know...

Troupials are extremely antisocial birds and will attack birds who trespass into their territory.

These relatives of orioles are also known as turpial, northern troupial, and the common troupial Venezuelan troupial.

Previously, the Venezuelan troupials were lumped together with the campo troupial and the orange-backed troupial.

Do troupial nest on cacti?

In coastal Venezuela and parts of Aruba, troupials make their nests in cacti and feed on the fruit of the giant cacti!

Why are troupials called bugle birds?

Troupials are known as 'bugle birds' because of their melodious voices. Troupials are famous for their sweet song, which is the reason why they are famous as cage birds. These birds can also sing in duets and have mimicking abilities to mimic the voice of other birds.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our Nicobar pigeon facts or red finch facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Troupial coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali Rawat picture

Sonali RawatBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali has a Bachelor's degree in English literature from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and is currently pursuing a Master's in English and Communication from Christ University. With considerable experience in writing about lifestyle topics, including travel and health, she has a passion for Japanese culture, especially fashion, and anime, and has written on the subject before. Sonali has event managed a creative-writing festival and coordinated a student magazine at her university. Her favorite authors are Toni Morrison and Anita Desai.

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