The Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus) is a medium-sized New World oriole. Adults have a curved black bill and white wing bars. The adult males are bold black and vary from bright yellow to fire orange. They have black tails, throats, and wings. The rumps and bellies are yellow to orange. The face and throat are black resembling a little mask. The females have an olive-yellow body with gray backs and thin white wing bars. Juvenile males look like females, but with black throats.
Hooded Oriole Facts [All About Birds]
- Orioles are members of the blackbird family (Icteridae), along with meadowlarks and cowbirds. Birds in this family all have super strong, long, and pointed bills. They use these bills to get at food other birds can’t reach, such as prying apart thick patches of grass, opening up flowers, enlarging holes in tree bark, and digging into ripe fruits for their juice.
- Don’t be fooled by color, Hooded Orioles in Texas and eastern Mexico are flame orange, but those in the southwestern United States and western Mexico are bright yellow.
- Hooded Orioles expanded their range northward after people planted more ornamental palm trees around their homes and suburban areas. By 2017, Hooded Orioles were using parks and suburban yards as far north as Arcata, California.
- The oldest recorded Hooded Oriole was a male, and at least 6 years old when he was found in California in 1972, the same state where he had been banded in 1967.