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Audubon's Oriole

Icterus graduacauda ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: ICTERIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

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.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
7.5–9.4 in
19–24 cm
Wingspan
12.6 in
32 cm
Weight
1.1–1.9 oz
31–53 g
Other Names
  • Black-headed Oriole
  • Oriole d'Audubon (French)
  • Bolsero cabeza negra, Bolsero Capuchinegra, Chorcha cabeza negra, Calandria hierera (Spanish)

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.

Food


Insects

Insects, spiders, fruits. Sunflower seed at bird feeders.

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.

Nest Placement

Tree

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

Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of Audubon's Oriole at 200,000, with 2% living in the U.S., and 98% in Mexico. They rate a 14 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and are on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, which lists bird species that are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered without conservation action. This species has declined in Texas. Vulnerability to habitat loss and fragmentation (particularly cowbird parasitism) suggests that special measures may be needed to maintain some populations.

Credits

Range Map Help

Audubon
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

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