Audubon’s Oriole

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Icterus graduacauda

Audubon’s Oriole

The Audubon's Oriole, formerly known as the Black-headed Oriole, is a New World passerine inhabiting the forests and thickets of southeastern Texas and the Mexican coast. It is the only species to have a black hood and yellow body.

Males have a black hood, mandible, and throat, as well as a black tail. Wings are black, but the remiges and rectrices (flight feathers) are fringed with white. The secondary coverts form yellow epaulets. The back and vent are yellow washed with olive, and the underside is almost uniformly yellow.

Females have a slightly more olive nape and back than the males.

Juveniles are similar to the females, but their wings are dull brown instead of black.

Both sexes measures about 7.5 - 9.4 inches long, with a wingspan of 12.6 inches and a weight of 31 - 53 grams.

CALL: Common calls include a rising, nasal “nyyyee” or “yehnk”, a harsh, staccato chatter (probably alarm calls), and a soft “piu”, probably a contact call.

SONG: Both males and females sing a rather slow, whistled, rising and falling song, recalling a slide whistle.

Feeds heavily on insects and spiders, but will also eat berries. Sometimes visits flowers to feed on nectar.

Lives year-round in woodlands along streams, brushlands, and well-wooded wildlife refuges.

They are a permanent resident (not migratory) of southeastern Texas and the Mexican coast.

The female builds a shallow hanging cup suspended from a branch, woven of grasses and plant fibers (palmetto especially), and usually lined with grass, plant fiber, and hair.

The female lays 3 - 5 pale bluish-white eggs with dark streaks and blotches, heaviest at the large end.

Audubon’s Oriole Infographic


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