Icterus Cucullatus

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The Hooded Oriole's beautiful black and yellow coloration makes it one of the most attractive birds that can be found in America. In bright light, the male's feathers appear to be made of spun glass. Their nest is made from fibers pulled from palm fronds and woven into a sturdy, sideways-hanging basket with it's roof woven into the shady underside of a palm frond. The fronds act as a roof for the nest and provides shelter from the sun and rain. The nest works like an open ended sleeping bag. With this design, hatchlings are better protected from being ejected from the nest during strong winds. Both parents tend the nest, which usually has two to four eggs. Fledglings are fed a varied diet of fruit and insects, including earwigs that are collected from the dense foliage of cypress trees. In maturity, Hooded Orioles also feed on flower nectar. The male bird in the image above is tending to a nest in a Canary Island Date Palm.