- Common Name:
- Hooded Oriole
- Scientific Name:
- Icterus cucullatus
- Length: 8 inches
- IUCN Red List Status:
- Least concern
- Current Population Trend:
This slim oriole has a fondness for palms. Polytypic. Length 8".
Long, strongly graduated tail. Thin, noticeably downcurved bill, blue-gray on the basal half lower mandible. Adult male: a crisp black bib, face, and back contrasting with the orange or yellow-orange lower back and rump. Black wings, with black shoulders, 2 white wing bars, crisp white fringes on flight feathers. Tail black. Adult female: olive above; yellowish or dull orange below, with dusky wash on flanks and belly. Two dull wing bars per wing, white fringes on flight feathers. Immature male: like female, but by spring shows a neat black bib and lores.
Five subspecies in 2 groups: the cucullatus group east of Big Bend, Texas, is more orange, with a shorter bill and more black on forehead; the nelsoni group, found in New Mexico and west, shows yellow-orange, with a longer, more downcurved bill.
The male is similar in pattern to the altamira oriole, but is slimmer, has a much slimmer bill, and shows a black shoulder and white upper wing bar.
Call: a whistled wheet and a short chatter. Also a chut, usually by juveniles, similar to call of the orchard oriole. Song: a quick and abrupt series of springy, nasal, or whiny notes, lacking the sweet whistled sounds of other orioles.
Status and Distribution
Breeding: open areas with scattered trees, riparian areas, and suburban and park settings. Migration: arrives during March, departs in August. Winter: mainly in Mexico. Vagrant: casual to British Columbia and Washington, annual in Oregon; accidental in Ontario and southern Yukon.
The species is expanding north in California, but populations have decreased in southern Texas.