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Scott's Oriole Icterus parisorum


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Scott's Oriole, male
credit: NPS

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Alternate name: Northern Oriole

Family: Icteridae, Blackbirds and Orioles view all from this family

Description ADULT MALE Has a black back, hood, and breast, and otherwise yellow underparts. From below, tail is yellow and dark-tipped; from above it is black with yellow sides to base of outer feathers. Wings are black overall, but with a yellow "shoulder," white wing bar, and white edges to flight feathers. ADULT FEMALE Black elements of male plumage on head and back are replaced with mottled olive-gray; some birds have more intense black on face, and on breast. "Shoulder" patch is less extensive than in male. IMMATURE Recalls dull version of respective sex adult with two pale wing bars (not wing bar and "shoulder" patch); male has dark breast, but mottled head and back, and female is dull olive-yellow overall, darkest on head and streaked on back.

Dimensions Length: 7 1/2-8 1/4" (19-21 cm)

Habitat Locally common summer visitor (mainly Apr- Aug) to desert hillsides where yuccas grade into oak and juniper woodland; winters in Mexico.

Observation Tips Easy to see.

Range California, Rocky Mountains, Texas, Southwest

Voice Song is a jaunty series of dancing, fluty whistles; call is a harsh tchek.

Similar Species Audubon's Oriole I. graduacauda (L 9.5-10 in) adult has black hood and chest, olive-yellow back, and yellow underparts, and black wings with white wing bar and edges to flight feathers; head is olive-yellow in immature. Resident in waterside woodland in Rio Grande valley; range does not overlap with that of Scott's. Secretive and tricky to see.

Discussion Dry-country oriole, with a slender and pointed bill. Sexes are dissimilar.