Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hooded Oriole

♂ Hooded Oriole, Icterus cucullatus 
The Hooded Oriole is a medium-sized oriole found in the southwestern United States during summer and in western portions of Central America during winter. The bright orange and black of the males gives this bird its common name as the pattern makes it look as though he's wearing a hood. As with many other songbirds, the females and immature males are more drab, an olive yellow with dusky wings for this species. Nests are most often found in palms or large yucca sewn to the underside of a large leaf, but have also been found in moss and mistletoe clumps. They forage on insects, berries, cultivated fruits, and nectar, and are sometimes seen at hummingbird feeders. Although their population is currently stable overall, there is a notable decrease in the Lower Rio Grande population likely due to cowbird nest parasitism.