The Yellow-tailed Oriole is a relatively long-tailed species of oriole. As is the case for most neotropical species of Icterus, the sexes are similar in appearance. The plumage is mostly golden yellow, with a black bib; the back also is black (although the rump is yellow), and the wings are black but also show a prominent yellow band on the lesser and median wing coverts. The central rectrices are black but the outer rectrices are yellow; from below the tail appears to be almost entirely yellow, although from above the tail is black with yellow margins. The Yellow-tailed Oriole does not occur in closed canopy forest, but occupies a variety of wooded habitats, often near water. The distribution extends from southeastern Mexico south to northwestern Peru. It is common throughout much of this region. In Costa Rica, however, the Yellow-tailed Oriole is highly valued for its rich, mellow song, and populations have declined as a result of pressure from the caged bird trade.