Selva Cacique (Cacicus koepckeae)

The Selva Caciques (Cacicus koepckeae) occur naturally in western South America, where populations have been recorded in eastern Peru in the Ucayali, Cuzco and Madre de Dios regions; and adjacent northwestern Brazil in the state of Acre.

Sightings occurred in Balta, in Loreto, Peru; at the río Shihuaniro near its confluence with the lower río Urubamba, the upper río Camisea, Manu National Park, Madre de Dios, near Cocha Cashu Biological Station, Santurio Nacional Megatoni and an unconfirmed report from the Parque Nacional Cordillera Azul.

They favor humid forested lowland and foothill habitats – at elevations of 300-575 m. They are typically found near rivers and transitional forests on banks and islands.

They have a very small range and are quite rare. They are currently classified as “Vulnerable D2” (at risk of extinction).


Selva Caciques are medium-sized, black icterids that measure about 9 inches or 23 cm in length. They have a square, yellow rump patch. The eyes (irises) are bluish-white. The bill is bluish-grey with a paler tip.

Similar Species:

Resembles the Mountain Cacique; however, confusion is unlikely, as they don’t share the same range.

Calls / Vocalizations

Generally quiet – except for their contact (sentinel?) calls, which have been described as a loud, rapid series of explosive, paired chick-pouw notes, with some three-syllabled notes interspersed; as well as a quick succession of sharp chih notes and more widely-spaced chih-chih, pouw-pouw phrases.

Alternate (Global) Names

Chinese: ????? … Czech: Vlhovec peruánský … Danish: Perupungstær … Dutch: Loretobuidelspreeuw, Loreto-buidelspreeuw … Finnish: Selvakasikki … French: Cassique de Koepcke, Cassique de Loreto … German: Koepckekassike, Loretokassike … Italian: Cacicco di selva, Cacico della Selva … Japanese: peruatsurisudori, peru-tsurisudori … Norwegian: Selvaskasik … Polish: kacyk zóltorzytny, kacyk ?ó?torzytny … Russian: ????????? ?????? ?????? … Slovak: trupiál peruánsky … Spanish: Arrendajo Selvático, Cacique de Koepcke … Swedish: Selvakasik

Additional Resources

Cacique InformationCaique Species Photo Gallery