Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus)

Hooded Oriole

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Icteridae | [latin] Icterus cucullatus | [UK] Hooded Oriole | [FR] Oriole masque | [DE] Maskentrupial | [ES] Bolsero encapuchado | [NL] Maskertroepiaal


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Icterus cucullatus NA, MA sw USA, Mexico, Belize
Icterus cucullatus cucullatus
Icterus cucullatus igneus
Icterus cucullatus nelsoni
Icterus cucullatus sennetti
Icterus cucullatus trochiloides

Physical charateristics

Male: Orange and black, with a black throat and an orange crown. In winter, back obscurely scaled. Female:
Similar to female Bullock’s Oriole, but entire underparts yellowish; bill longer, more curved. Back olive-gray; head and tail more yellowish.

Listen to the sound of Hooded Oriole

[audio:http://www.aviflevoland.nl/sounddb/H/Hooded Oriole.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 55 cm wingspan max.: 60 cm
size min.: 18 cm size max.: 20 cm
incubation min.: 12 days incubation max.: 14 days
fledging min.: 13 days fledging max.: 15 days
broods: 2   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 5  


North America, Middle America : Southwest USA, Mexico, Belize


Open woods, shade trees, palms.
Breeds in groves of trees (such as cottonwood, walnut, sycamore) along streams and in canyons, and in open woods in lowlands. Often common in suburbs and city parks. Especially favors palm trees, and will nest in isolated groups of palms even in cities.


In courtship, male moves around female, posturing with deep bows and then pointing bill straight up while singing softly. Female may respond with similar posturing.
Nest: Often placed in palm or large yucca, sewn to underside of large overhanging leaf; usually 10-
50′ above ground, but can be lower. Sometimes placed under banana leaf, in clump of mistletoe or Spanish moss, or suspended from branch of deciduous tree. Nest is a woven hanging
pouch of grass and plant fibers, lined with plant down, hair, feathers. Female builds nest, but male may help bring material.
Eggs: 4, sometimes 3-5. Whitish, irregularly blotched with brown, lavender, and gray. Incubation is by female, about 12-14 days. Bronzed Cowbirds very frequently lay eggs in nests of this species.
Young: Fed by both parents. Leave nest about 14 days after hatching. 2 broods per year, sometimes 3.

Feeding habits

Includes insects, berries, nectar.
Feeds on a variety of insects. May especially favor caterpillars, also eats beetles, wasps, ants, and many others. Feeds on many wild berries and sometimes on cultivated fruit. Takes nectar from flowers, and will come to feeders to drink sugar-water.

Behavior: Forages rather slowly and deliberately in trees and large shrubs, gleaning insects from among foliage or feeding on berries. Regularly probes in flowers for nectar and probably takes insec
ts there as well. A common visitor to hummingbird feeders.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Hooded Oriole status Least Concern


Breeds southwestern United States to southern Mexico. Winters in Mexico; rarely southwestern United States. Migration:
Most in our area are migratory, but a few remain through winter, especially where sugar-water feeders are provided. An early migrant in both spring and fall, with many arriving in March and departing in August.

Distribution map

Hooded Oriole distribution range map

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