Audubon's Oriole

Robbikal Adlim Monday, November 25, 2013
 A predominantly Mexican bird, the Audubon's Oriole reaches the United States only in southern Texas. It is a rather secretive oriole, living in denser vegetation than most other orioles and singing from inconspicuous perches.
 Appearance
Blackbirdlike
Blackbirdlike
Typical Voice

Adult Description
Medium-sized songbird.
Yellowish body.
Black hood.
Black wings.
Long, black tail.
Straight, pointed bill.
 Immature Description
Juvenile lacks black. Olive on back, grayer on head and nape, yellower on rump. Underparts yellow with gray throat. Wings brownish gray. Tail olive with darker central feathers. First-year bird similar to adult, but with wings and tail dull brownish rather than black.
 Similar Species
The male Scott's Oriole is the only other oriole in the United States that is black and yellow, but it has a black back and a partly yellow tail, and its range does not overlap that of Audubon's Oriole. Immature Scott's has streaked back; Audubon's is plain olive.
 Cool Facts
The Audubon's Oriole is the only black-hooded New World oriole (with an entirely black head and breast but not back). Indeed, it was formerly known as the Black-headed Oriole, but this name was changed in 1983 to Audubon's Oriole to avoid confusion with an Old World group of species in the genus Oriolus, the true orioles.
The Audubon's Oriole is a favored host of the nest-parasitic Bronzed Cowbird. In Texas, more than half of all oriole nests have cowbird eggs in them.
 Habitat

Open Woodland
Uses a variety of habitats, including riparian forest, thorn forest, and live oak forest in Texas, and humid tropical forests in Mexico.
 Nesting
Nesting Facts

Clutch Size
3–5 eggs
Egg Description
Pale bluish white, with dark streaks and blotches, heaviest at large end.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless.
 Nest Description

Nest a slightly hanging basket of woven palmetto fibers or grasses, lined with soft grasses or hair. Placed in trees, often quite low to ground, among twigs and leaves on central portion of limbs.
 Behavior

Foliage Gleaner
Forages in dense foliage, often near forest clearing. Inserts bill into dead wood or plants and opens it forcefully to expose insects hiding inside. Uses bird feeders.
 Conservation
status via IUCN
Least Concern
Has declined in Texas. Not listed as at risk in any part of its range. Vulnerability to habitat loss and fragmentation (particularly cowbird parasitism) suggests that special measures may be needed to maintain some populations.


Credits
Flood, N. J., J. D. Rising, and T. Brush. 2002. Audubon's Oriole (Icterus graduacauda). In The Birds of North America, No. 691 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.
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