Hooded Oriole Facts | Kidadl


Hooded Oriole Facts

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Hooded orioles (Icterus cucullatus) are orange or yellow-colored birds, depending on the area of habitation and species, they migrate towards the north every year from America and Western U.S. from Mexico. Even though they mostly live in North America, their habitat has become more global because of the availability of palm trees. They are mostly seen in mid-March. Attracting the bird is pretty easy, all you need are a few things that they like to eat, such as sugar water, berries, soaked raisins. Once you become a hooded oriole feeder, these simple tricks can lure them into your backyard or garden, and you can have a look at these beautiful birds. Hummingbird feeders and fruit feeders are great places to look for them.

Hooded oriole, belonging from order passeriformes, family Icteridae, is a shy North American bird species but is also equally protective of its baby. It makes a nest around a water body, and on a high tree (preferably palm tree), to protect itself, and its eggs from predators. Since palm trees are now easily found around the world, orioles have migrated globally, too. Nests are generally made by females. They feed on a variety of insects (caterpillars, wasps, ants, beetles), berries, and nectars (from flowering plants and hummingbird feeders). They are generally calm while preying, but they are really fast.

The adult male hooded oriole is primarily orange with a black back, face, tail, and bib. The dark wings have a few white areas on them. The female hooded oriole is yellowish-green towards the bottom and plain olive-green on top, therefore, they are easily misunderstood as the female orchard oriole. Hooded orioles are slightly larger than orchard oriole overall as it has a longer bill and a longer tail.

Read on to know more about the hooded oriole. For more relatable content, check out common blackbird and hummingbird.

Hooded Oriole Facts

What do they prey on?


What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

0.05 lb (24 g)

How long are they?

7.1-7.9 in (18-20 cm)

How tall are they?

1-2 in (2.5-5 cm)

What do they look like?

Orange, yellow, black

Skin Type


What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Open Woodland


Mexico, South Texas Of North America, South United States









Hooded Oriole Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a hooded oriole?

Hooded oriole (Icterus Cucullatus) is a type of bird.

What class of animal does a hooded oriole belong to?

Hooded orioles belong to the order Passeriformes, family Icteridae, and class Aves of animals.

How many hooded orioles are there in the world?

The exact number of these North American birds is not known. However, according to The International Union for Conservation of Nature, the population of these birds has increased a little in the last 40 years.

Where does a hooded oriole live?

Hooded Orioles are mainly found in North America. To be specific, they are seen in the southwestern United States, like southern and central California, and southern Texas. They can also be seen in Mexico.

What is a hooded oriole's habitat?

These North American birds live in the woods, mostly in open woodlands with scattered trees. They prefer palm trees for their length, and the raw materials it provides to make the hooded oriole nest.

Who do hooded orioles live with?

Baby orioles generally live with both parents, and as an adult, these birds are known to be quite social. They can be seen to flock with birds that are similar to them.

How long does a hooded oriole live?

A hooded oriole can live for about 6-7 years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season for this species starts in April and goes on till May. The male will hover around the female and sing soft songs pointing their bill upwards. The same process is followed by the female in response.

While building their nests, hooded orioles make sure that they are at a sufficient distance from the ground, to protect themselves from predators. This is one of the main reasons why they prefer constructing nests in palm trees. The nest constructed by hooded oriole is very different. It's usually cup-shaped and is hung from the branch of the tree. The female birds make the nest in about five days, using twigs, strings, fibrous materials, and dry vegetation. One nest is deep enough to accumulate the parents and their eggs.

The bird can lay 3-5 eggs in a time, and the incubation period lasts for about 12-15 days. Eggs hatch during summers. Once the baby birds are born, they are taken care of by both parents, and they leave the nest in about 14 days. The family doesn't stay in the same nest for long.

What is their conservation status?

According to The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species, the conservation status of these birds are of  Least Concern and their population trend is also increasing.

Hooded Oriole Fun Facts

What do hooded orioles look like?

Hooded oriole facts are fun to read.

Hooded orioles are black along with a pop of orange or yellow. Their wings have white feathers. They are small in size. The contrasting color and the pointed bill make them easy to identify. Hence, they are a visual treat for all bird lovers.

How cute are they?

The striking color in contrast with black makes these North American birds look very cute as well as easy to spot.

How do they communicate?

Orioles are one such species of birds that like to communicate through songs. Each bird can sing multiple varieties of songs, especially the males. The hooded oriole call for both male and female is a harsh chuck or a nasal sound like 'wheet'.  Sometimes, hooded oriole sounds like a House Finch's call because of the sharp hooded oriole song.

How big is a hooded oriole?

A hooded oriole size varies from small to medium. They are about 7.1-7.9 in (18-20 cm) in length. An average eagle is about four times the size of a hooded oriole (Icterus Cucullatus).

How fast can a hooded oriole fly?

The exact speed of an oriole is not known, however, while flying between trees they are said to be quick and strong.

How much does a hooded oriole weigh?

Orioles are light in weight. They weigh about 0.05 lb only.

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male and female bird of the species has the same name. However, it has five subspecies under the same family: Icterus Cucullatus cucullatus, Icterus Cucullatus sennetti (sennets hooded oriole), Icterus Cucullatus igneus, Icterus Cucullatus nelsoni, and Icterus Cucullatus trochiloides.

What would you call a baby hooded oriole?

There is no specific name for baby hooded oriole, like other bird babies they can be called chicks.

What do they eat?

An oriole's diet is a combination of fruits, insects, and nectar. They search trees for their food and use their pointed bill to extract nectar from flowers. This prevents them from pollinating the flower and get maximum nectar out of it.

Are they aggressive?

Orioles are generally shy animals and birds of the species are not considered aggressive at all.

Would they make a good pet?

Orioles are migrating birds, so it is difficult to pet them. However, a few tricks can be used to sway them towards your garden. People have used soaked raisins, sweet water feeders, grape jelly.

Did you know...

Songs by orioles are a good mix of cry notes, it is often inspired by its neighboring bird species, such as Ash-throated Flycatchers and Gila Woodpeckers.

A lot of these birds in Arizona and southern California don't migrate to the south during winters. They do this to grab the opportunity of having free food at hummingbird feeders.

Hooded orioles in western Mexico and the southwestern United States are bright yellow whereas, in eastern Mexico and Texas they are flame orange.

These birds hang upside-down on the branch of a tree, after catching their prey.

(Hooded oriole) female birds make a nest using the underside of leaves, mostly palm leaves, strings, and other raw materials procured from trees.

Hooded orioles are one of the two most common species of orioles in California.

It is quite tricky to distinguish a bullock's female oriole from a hooded oriole. However, the former has a grey back, whereas, the latter has a black back.

Hooded orioles are often confused with Altamira orioles, however, they are much smaller and slimmer than the Altamira. The black on the face of a hooded oriole is more extensive and includes the cheek and the eye, unlike Altamira. They also have a white, not orange shoulder.

The oldest oriole was six years old and found in California.

Juvenile hooded oriole of the males looks a lot like female orioles, the only difference being the black throat.

The Asian member of an oriole family is called a black hooded oriole.

What is a nickname for hooded orioles?

Orioles are also called “palm-leaf oriole” because of the preference of these birds to build nests in palm trees.

What has caused hooded orioles to expand their range?

Many orioles have expanded their range of habitat after people started to plant more palm trees around their homes and nearby areas. This made it easier for the birds to migrate and make nests wherever they want.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including shrike, or killdeer.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Hooded oriole coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

Moumita is a multilingual content writer and editor. She has a PostGraduate Diploma in sports management, which enhanced her sports journalism skills, as well as a degree in journalism and mass communication. She's good at writing about sports and sporting heroes. Moumita has worked with many soccer teams and produced match reports, and sports is her primary passion.

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