|Conservation status||Numbers probably stable in most areas. Has expanded breeding range into western Colorado since 1970s.|
|Family||Blackbirds and Orioles|
|Habitat||Dry woods and scrub in desert mountains, yuccas, Joshua-trees, pinyons. Breeds in semi-arid zones of Southwest in oak zones of lower canyons, open woods of juniper and pinyon pine, stands of Joshua-trees, grassland with many yuccas, palm oases. Avoids true desert.|
Forages rather slowly and quietly in treetops, clambering along branches as it searches for insects. Regularly visits flowers, probing deeply in the blossoms for nectar.
2-4, usually 3. Pale bluish white, with dots and lines of brown, gray, and black concentrated at larger end. Incubation is by female, 12-14 days. Young: Both parents feed nestlings. Young leave the nest about 2 weeks after hatching. 1 or 2 broods per year.
Both parents feed nestlings. Young leave the nest about 2 weeks after hatching. 1 or 2 broods per year.
Mostly insects, some berries and nectar. Feeds on a wide variety of insects, including grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars, and many others. Also eats berries and fruit, including cactus fruit; may feed on cultivated fruit at times. Also feeds on nectar, and will take sugar-water from feeders.
Males arrive on breeding grounds a few days before females, and sing frequently to establish nesting territory. Nest: Often placed in yucca, or in Joshua-tree (which is a tall, branched type of yucca). Also may be in palm or in tree such as sycamore, oak, or pine. Usually 4-20' above ground. Nest in tree may be hidden in clump of mistletoe. Nest (probably built by female) is a hanging basket, suspended by its edges, not as deep as the nests of some orioles; woven of grasses, yucca fibers, other plant fibers, lined with fine grass, hair, and plant down.
Illustration © David Allen Sibley.
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Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Migrates rather early in both spring and fall, arriving on nesting grounds in March or April, mostly departing in July and August. Small numbers winter in southern Arizona and California.
- All Seasons - Common
- All Seasons - Uncommon
- Breeding - Common
- Breeding - Uncommon
- Winter - Common
- Winter - Uncommon
- Migration - Common
- Migration - Uncommon
See a fully interactive migration map for this species on the Bird Migration Explorer.Learn more
Songs and CallsThe song, a series of rising and falling flute-like notes, resembles that of a Western Meadowlark. Call is a harsh chuck.
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How Climate Change Will Reshape the Range of the Scott's Oriole
Audubon’s scientists have used 140 million bird observations and sophisticated climate models to project how climate change will affect this bird’s range in the future.
Zoom in to see how this species’s current range will shift, expand, and contract under increased global temperatures.
Climate threats facing the Scott's Oriole
Choose a temperature scenario below to see which threats will affect this species as warming increases. The same climate change-driven threats that put birds at risk will affect other wildlife and people, too.