Audubon's OrioleIcterus graduacauda
- ORDER: Passeriformes
- FAMILY: Icteridae
The brilliant yellow-and-black Audubon’s Oriole is a shy species of woodlands and brush in Mexico and South Texas. Its pleasing, rising-and-falling whistles are usually the first clues to its presence. Both sexes sing this song, often back and forth to each other during the nesting season. Unlike many orioles, the male and female look very much alike—with a black head, wings, and tail contrasting with a lemon-yellow body. Audubon’s Orioles can be hard to see as they forage deep in thick vegetation and even on the ground.More ID Info
Find This Bird
Finding Audubon’s Orioles can be challenging, particularly within their small U.S. range in South Texas. Checking eBird records to find where others have seen the species can help. Look for dense brushy habitat along the Rio Grande. It also sometimes comes to feeding stations in locations such as Salineño, Texas. Listen in spring and summer for the distinctive song, given by both members of a pair, especially early in the morning.
- Turpial de Audubon (Spanish)
- Oriole d'Audubon (French)
Audubon’s Orioles may come to backyards, especially ones with thick vegetation or fruiting shrubs. They eat sunflower seeds from feeders and may also visit hummingbird feeders.
- Cool Facts
- The Audubon's Oriole is the only New World oriole with a black hood (an entirely black head and breast but not back). It was formerly known as the Black-headed Oriole, but this name was changed in 1983 to Audubon's Oriole to avoid confusion with some Old World orioles (an unrelated group of species in the family Oriolidae.
- The Audubon's Oriole is a favored host of the Bronzed Cowbird, which lays its eggs in other birds’ nests. In Texas, more than half of all Audubon’s Oriole nests have cowbird eggs in them.