Named after the Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin, adult birds display a distinctive plumage featuring a black hood, dark gray back, and white underparts. They have a red bill, bright red legs, and a white eye ring. Outside the breeding season, their hood fades, revealing a white head with a dark smudge behind the eye. Juveniles resemble non-breeding adults but with mottled brown plumage and a dark bill.
A boldly colored member of the New World blackbird family, the Bullock’s oriole is a thrill to behold as it hops among branches of cottonwoods and other deciduous trees and shrubs, often not far from water, gleaning insects and other invertebrate prey.