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Hooded Oriole

ID Info
Silhouette OriolesOrioles
Hooded OrioleIcterus cucullatus
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Icteridae

Basic Description

Black and brilliant yellow-orange flash across the sky when male Hooded Orioles dash through open woodlands and yards of the southwestern U.S. Following close behind are the pale yellow females. Sometimes called "palm-leaf orioles," these orioles "sew" their hanging nests onto the undersides of palm fronds. They often stay hidden while foraging, but their large, slender shape and nearly constant chatter usually give them away. Hooded Orioles also use hummingbird feeders, awkwardly bending or hanging upside down to drink.

More ID Info
image of range map for Hooded Oriole
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Despite their bright colors, Hooded Orioles tend to be inconspicuous and sometimes remain hidden even while singing. They are often deliberate and slow foragers, so if you see a larger songbird moving slowly in a tree, don’t assume it’s just an American Robin—it could be a Hooded Oriole. One way to find them is to look for a desert oasis with tall cottonwoods or sycamores, or a suburban neighborhood with palm trees. In these areas, listen for their jumbling songs and chattering calls or watch the sky to catch them flying between trees. Fruit feeders and hummingbird feeders are also good places to look for them.

Other Names

  • Turpial Enmascarado (Spanish)
  • Oriole masqué (French)

Backyard Tips

Try attracting Hooded Orioles to your yard with oranges, sugar water, or jelly. Slice oranges in half and secure them to a post or other platform. Or hang up an extra hummingbird feeder with slightly larger holes to allow these larger birds to access the sugar water. Use the same proportions you would for hummingbirds: one part table sugar dissolved in four parts water. Be sure to dispose of any fruit that becomes moldy because some molds create toxins that are harmful to birds.

  • Cool Facts