Hey, Paisley, talk about interesting timing: On the AZ-NM birding forum tonight, there was a discussion on Hooded vs. Orchard oriole because of a bird sighted in Tucson (where Hooded is common and Orchard would be a big deal). I thought you might be interested in what an oriole expert contributed to the discussion in case you see your birds again -- and especially as you recorded your birds since he touches on vocalization as well.
The photos he's referring to were on another list member's website, which I've attached for your (and everybody else's here on this thread) comparison. Whew, that was really bad grammar...
"We can narrow the field of contenders down to two orioles: Orchard and
Hooded. Females of these two species can be surprisingly difficult to
separate, especially young birds. Several features of the photo bird are
highly suggestive of Orchard Oriole. Points in favor of Orchard: 1) The bill
appears to be straight and pointed rather than slender and decurved like
Hooded. Very young Hooded Oriole's bill approaches Orchard in being straight
instead of decurved. 2) Upperparts to my eye appear to be olive-green rather
than greenish-yellow. Lighting, film, individual computer monitors, etc. can
affect color so this may or may not be helpful. This is not a clincher. 3)
The wingbars appear very neat; this is a feature that I have noted birding
in the east. Hooded's wingbars sometimes appear a little more 'messy' to me.
4) The tail appears relatively short; adult Hooded Oriole would appear
longer tailed. 5) While difficult to judge from a photo, the bird appears to
be quite small suggesting Orchard. Measurements of the two species do
"Descriptions of the oriole's vocalizations and behavior would be very
helpful. The Orchard's song is reminiscent of Purple Finch; quick, rich,
varied, often with a distinctive downslurred note at the end. The soft
"chuck" call note is rather distinctive and usually diagnostic if heard well
and consistently. The sheenk, weenk, wheet, or et of the Hooded are rather
distinctive and usually diagnostic as well. The Hooded call note, to my ear,
also has an inflection that makes the call note sound like a question.
"Behaviorally, one characteristic that may be helpful is the Orchard's habit
of flicking it's tail sideways, fast and quite jerky. I have not seen Hooded
do this, but I haven't observed as many Hooded Orioles as I have Orchard
Orioles being a relatively new transplant from the east."