American Birding Podcast



#ABArare – Hooded Oriole – Kansas

On April 30, Kathy McDowell noticed an unusual oriole visiting her feeders in Lawrence, Kansas, in Douglas County in the eastern part of the state. Photos confirmed the bird was an adult male Hooded Oriole, which, pending acceptance, would be the first record of the species for Kansas.

Photo by Nic Allen, used with permission.

Photo by Nic Allen, used with permission.

The bird was present for several days before going missing on May 4. It has not been seen since.

Hooded Oriole is a breeding bird of the southwest ABA Area and is represented north of Mexico by two subspecies. The two are nearly identical in the field with cucullatus of south Texas being generally brighter with a shorter bill and more black on the forehead than the more westerly nelsoni. Though this bird has not been identified to either group, it’s perhaps more likely that this individual – and other easterly records of this species – may represent the latter, which is expanding while populations of cucullatus have decreased in recent years (Alderfer 2006).

Hooded Oriole has a pattern of vagrancy to the east, including records from Ontario, Quebec, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Colorado, where one was seen concurrently with this Kansas bird, interestingly enough.


Alderfer, J. K., & National Geographic Society (U.S.) (2006). National Geographic complete birds of North America. Washington, D.C: National Geographic.