Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Least Concern

Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus)


French: Oriole masqué German: Maskentrupial Spanish: Turpial enmascarado

Icterus cucullatus


, 1827,

Temascaltepec, Mexico


Races generally considered to form two groups#R. Proposed race restrictus, described from W Mexico (Agiabampo, in extreme S Sonora), is synonymized with nelsoni; described races duplexus (Mujeres I, off NE Yucatán, in Mexico), cozumelae (Cozumel I, off NE Yucatán) and masoni (Manatee, in Belize) all subsumed into igneus. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • I. c. nelsoni Ridgway, 1885 – Western Hooded Oriole – SW USA (N California E to W Texas), S to NW Mexico (N Baja California, Sonora and N Chihuahua); non-breeding range extends S to Sinaloa (W Mexico).
  • I. c. trochiloides Grinnell, 1927 – C & S Baja California (from San Ignacio S to Cabo San Lucas).
  • I. c. cucullatus Swainson, 1827 – Eastern Hooded Oriole – S USA (S Texas in middle Rio Grande Valley) S along edge of Mexican Plateau (Coahuila and Nuevo León) to Puebla, Oaxaca and S Veracruz; winters from Jalisco S to Guerrero and S Oaxaca, in S Mexico.
  • I. c. sennetti Ridgway, 1901 – S USA (S Texas in lower Rio Grande Valley) S to E Mexico (S Tamaulipas); winters S to N Guerrero and Morelos, in S Mexico.
  • I. c. igneus Ridgway, 1885 – S Mexico from E Tabasco, N Chiapas and coastal Yucatán Peninsula (including adjacent islands of Holbox, Mujeres, Cozumel and others) S to N Belize.
  • Descriptive notes

    18·5–20 cm; male average 24·3 g, female average 23·1 g. A small orange-yellow oriole. Male nominate race is mostly deep orange, including most of... read more


    Song, covering wide frequency range, is a fast series of warbles, clicks and some chattering or... read more


    Palm groves (e.g. of Washingtonia), riparian habitats with scattered trees such as willows... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and other arthropods, nectar and fruits. Insects reported include lepidopteran caterpillars and beetles (Coleoptera). Takes nectar... read more


    Season Apr–Jul in USA (California) and Feb–Sept in Mexico; depending on latitude, two or more broods reared per season, and... read more


    N populations are short-distance migrants; those farther S in Mexico (particularly race igneus... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to fairly common or locally common. Range expanding N in California. Tolerates moderate disturbance, and lives in parks and gardens, often in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fraga, R. (2019). Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 7 December 2019).