For a quick flash of fluorescent color in a sometimes drab southwestern desert, nothing can beat a male hooded oriole!
|Hooded Oriole 8" x 10" / 20cm x 25cm|
The glorious color of this little beauty must be seen to be believed! In full sunlight, its yellow-orange and black feathering is a delight to the eye.
They have a sweet "tooth" and will share hummingbird feeders with the hummingbirds -- the feeder we have is where we're most likely to see the orioles. The females visit the sugar water, too, but are colored a muted green. The orioles tend to nest on the undersides of fan palm fronds in basket-like nests that hang from the fronds. (It must be quite a ride on windy days!)
I painted this oriole sitting on the branch of a palo verde tree, another resident of the desert. I considered including the yellow flowers of the tree, but then I decided I didn't want anything yellow to compete with the dazzling yellows of the bird.
Hooded orioles winter mostly in Mexico. So if you ever want to see one in the southwestern deserts of the US, come to the desert in the spring or (gasp!) summer for a striking flash of color!