Top 5 Best Places to See a Hooded Oriole in the U.S.

Hooded Orioles : The Top 5 Places to See Them in the U.S 

place to see hooded oriole

One of the most beautiful birds in North America is also one of the most fleeting. The hooded oriole, a type of yellow-orange bird, spends its summers in the Pacific Northwest and other areas of the United States and Canada. But in the colder months, it flies south to more tropical climates. There are about 30 species of orioles around the world, but only two reside in the U.S. – the hooded oriole and its cousin, the orchard oriole. While you can see an orchard oriole pretty much anywhere during their summer residency, a glimpse of a hooded oriole is generally much more fleeting and requires some planning ahead to see this beautiful bird again in future years. Here are some of the top spots to see one:

Los Osos Oaks State Natural Reserve, California

hooded oriole in california

This beautiful state park is located just south of San Luis Obispo, California, and is home to at least 70% of the entire hooded oriole population in California. The park is open year-round, so you can visit it any season and have a chance to see the orioles. While you can’t enter the forested areas where the orioles reside, you can view the birds from the boardwalk that meanders through the property. The park also hosts a wide variety of other native species and is a great place to visit any time of year.

This state park is open year-round, and it’s a great place to visit any season of the year. The surrounding forest has many species of wildlife and plants that can’t be found anywhere else, so it’s also worth visiting just to see them if you don’t get a chance to see an oriole during your trip!

Cape May Point State Park, New Jersey

hooded oriole in new jersey

The southernmost point of New Jersey is also home to a significant percentage of the hooded oriole population in the Eastern U.S. The park is open year-round and is best visited in the early spring and late fall to see the orioles during migration. Cape May's easy accessibility from New York City and Philadelphia makes it a good choice for an easy weekend trip to see the orioles.

Cape May's easy accessibility from New York City and Philadelphia makes it a good choice for an easy weekend trip to see the orioles. Several feeders, maintained by volunteers and park rangers, are open from April through November on a schedule that coincides with seasonal migrations as well as the summer breeding season. A great way to get close to these birds without disturbing them is by renting bikes at the visitor center and biking around some of the many trails where you can spot the brightly colored hoodies feeding among other forest birds.

Hooded orioles are a beautiful addition to any day spent at Cape May Point State Park, especially if you’re traveling from out of town to see them. Just remember that, even though they’re so colorful and fun to watch, these birds have a breeding schedule that can make their numbers unpredictable during certain times of year—so it never hurts to check with park rangers before making your trip

Humboldt Lagoons State Park, California

hooded oriole in ca

Another state park in California, Humboldt Lagoons is located in the southern part of the state. It’s a great place to see the birds in April and May, as well as during fall migration. The ease of access from the Bay Area makes it a good choice for a day trip.

While you can see them in other places around California, Humboldt Lagoons has a good breeding population of these birds, and it’s close enough that you can drive there easily from San Francisco or Sacramento. As such, it’s one of the best places to see a hooded oriole in California—or anywhere else for that matter!

Humboldt Lagoons is a state park that protects three lagoons on Lagoon, Spud, and Little Dry Creeks. It’s located off highway 36 between Eureka and Crescent City and has a long season of use—throughout the winter months when other California parks are closed or inaccessible due to rain or mudslides!

Chino Hills State Park, California

hooded oriole in ca

While Chino Hills is a good place to see the hooded oriole during spring and fall migration, the best time to see the birds is in spring when they are nesting. The state park is located in the Inland Empire region of Southern California and is a good place to start a trip to see hooded orioles in multiple areas of the state.

Chino Hills State Park is home to an abundance of flora and fauna, making it a great location for bird-watching enthusiasts, nature lovers and families. During springtime when many migratory birds flock to Southern California, including hooded orioles, it’s easy to spot a variety of feathered friends at Chino Hills State Park. With more than 4,000 acres of open space dotted with trees, ponds and grasslands; this natural space offers plenty of opportunities to observe our winged neighbors up close.

The hooded oriole symbolizes freedom and liberty; their name comes from the bright orange feathers on their head that resemble an old-fashioned hood worn by friars or monks back in medieval times.

Tijuana Estuary, San Diego, CA

hooded oriole in san diego

The Tijuana Estuary is located on the border between Mexico and the U.S. in San Diego. It’s the southernmost nesting site for the hooded oriole, so this is one of the last places you can see the bird in the U.S. The best time to see the birds is in spring when they are nesting. The estuary is open year-round and is a good place to see a wide variety of other birds and wildlife, with the bonus of being on the border.

Tijuana Estuary is a location that’s easy for birders and non-birders alike to visit, one of the most popular cities for birding and outdoor activities on both sides of the border. There are several great restaurants near Tijuana Estuary and a short walk from where you can watch sea lions sunning themselves on boats waiting their turn at a nearby fish cleaning station.

No matter your interests, Tijuana Estuary is a location where you can easily find adventure and beauty, either close up or from a distance. It’s one of our favorite places to see a hooded oriole in California and we think it might be yours too!


The hooded oriole is a beautiful bird that is well worth the effort to see. While it can be challenging to find and view, the effort is well worth it. Best of all, you can see this bird at multiple locations across the country. These places are just some of the top places to see a hooded oriole. No matter where you are, there’s a chance you could spot this bright and beautiful bird. It may not always be easy, but with careful observation and patience, you'll eventually find one! Happy hunting!

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