E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Icterus cucullatus Swainson, 1827
Hooded Oriole
Family: Icteridae
Photo of species

© Alan Wilson  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #6538)

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Distribution of Icterus cucullatus in British Columbia
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Status and Occurrence of Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus) in British Columbia

by Rick Toochin and Don Cecile.

Introduction and Distribution

The Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus) has five distinct subspecies, of which 3 are found in North America (Dunn and Alderfer 2011). The subspecies of Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus nelsoni) is found breeding in California in the Coast range as far north as Humboldt County, where it is localized in the lowlands, foothills, and interior valleys, throughout the Central Valley north to Shasta County, throughout the interior of southern California, including the Mojave and Colorado Deserts, east to the Colorado River, and north in eastern California to Owens Valley and Panamint Mountains of Inyo County California distribution has been expanding northward (Garrett and Dunn 1981, Small 1994, Jaramillo and Burke 1999). East of California, the Hooded Oriole breeds in southern Nevada, north to Esmerelda, Nye, and Lincoln Counties (Pleasants and Albano 2001), extreme southwestern Utah in the Virgin River valley (Behle et al. 1985), throughout central and southern Arizona, south of Mogollon Plateau, and generally north to the central Mohave, northern Yavapai, northern Gila, northern Graham, and northern Greenlee Counties, but largely absent from southwest corner of state (Pleasants and Albano 2001), southwestern New Mexico, generally north to Grant, southern Sierra, and Doña Ana Counties (Hubbard 1978) and in west Texas, where the range is localized (Rappole and Blacklock 1994, Pleasants and Albano 2001), The second and nominate subspecies of the Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus cucullatus) is found in El Paso County, Brewster County, and along the Rio Grande from the lower Pecos River east to the coast and north to at least Val Verde, Sutton, Atascosa, and Nueces Counties (Rappole and Blacklock 1994, Pleasants and Albano 2001). There is also a third more localized subspecies of the Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus sennetti) found in this region of the Lower Rio Grande and is found more in Mexico (Dunn and Alderfer 2011).

In Mexico, all five subspecies of the Hooded Oriole are found (Dunn and Alderfer 2011). There are 2 subspecies of Hooded Oriole that breed throughout Baja California (Dunn and Alderfer 2011). These include the subspecies (Icterus cucullatus nelsoni) on the northern portion of the Baja and (Icterus cucullatus trochilodies) that is confined to the southern of Baja California (Dunn and Alderfer 2011). The Hooded Oriole subspecies (Icterus cucullatus nelsoni) is also found in northernmost Chihuahua, throughout Sonora, except largely absent from westernmost areas and extreme southern coast (Russell and Monson 1998), and northernmost Sinaloa (Howell and Webb 2010, Dunn and Alderfer 2011). The nominate subspecies of Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus cucullatus) is also found breeding from northeastern Coahuila, part of Nuevo León, and parts of Tamaulipas, south along the Atlantic slope through coastal Veracruz to northern Chiapas, west Campeche (Dunn and Alderfer 2011). The Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus sennetti) extends south from the southernmost Texas along the Gulf Coast into northeastern Mexico also along the Gulf Coast in Tamaulipas and eastern Nuevo León (Dunn and Alderfer 2011). The last subspecies of Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus igneus) is found on the Yucatán, and east to Quintana Roo (Howell and Webb 2010, Dunn and Alderfer 2011). This same subspecies of Hooded Oriole is also found south to northeastern Belize, including offshore islands of both countries (Howell and Webb 2010, Dunn and Alderfer 2011).

The Hooded Oriole winters in Mexico throughout Baja California Sur, except some northern areas, from the extreme southern Sonora Coast, south along the Pacific slope to central Oaxaca; and on Atlantic slope, from southern Tamaulipas, south through the remainder of the breeding range (Howell and Webb 2010).

There are small numbers that winter in southwestern United States from coastal southern California and southern Arizona, and southern Texas (Pleasants and Albano 2001).

In recent decades with the planting of Fan Palm Trees (Washingtonia filifera), and similar Palm Tree species, which are the preferred nesting tree of the Hooded Oriole, this species has undergone a northward expansion of its breeding range into northern California (Roberson 1980, Small 1994). The Hooded Oriole was first recorded in Oregon on May 15, 1963 (Browning 1960). Since that time the frequency of Hooded Oriole occurrences has steadily increased (OFO 2012). The Hooded Oriole is now an annual species in Oregon with over 30 accepted state records by the Oregon Bird Records Committee and is no longer on the committee’s review list of species (OFO 2012). In Washington State, the Hooded Oriole is a casual to accidental species with 9 accepted records by the Washington Bird Records Committee (Wahl et al. 2005, WBRC 2013).

In British Columbia, the Hooded Oriole is a casually occurring species with over 20 Provincial records (Campbell et al. 2001, Toochin et al. 2014, see Table 1). The Hooded Oriole has not been recorded in Alaska (Gibson et al. 2013), but is accidental in the Yukon (Dunn and Alderfer 2011). The Hooded Oriole is a casually occurring species in Louisiana with a few records from scattered locations north of its normal range in the eastern United States (Pleasants and Albano 2001). The Hooded Oriole is an accidental species in Ontario with a couple of Provincial records (OBRC 2015). There is also one record for Matapedia, Quebec in November 1998 (Bain and Shannon 1998).

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
NativeSNAAccidentalNot Listed
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

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General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2023-09-24 1:45:57 PM]
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