Backyard Birds

Nature Sounds CD's-Songbirds CD's

The Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) is a small icterid blackbird that received its name from the fact that the male's colors resemble those on the coat-of-arms of Lord Baltimore. At one time, this species and the Bullock's Oriole, Icterus bullockii, were considered to be a single species called the Northern Oriole.

The Baltimore Oriole is also the state bird of Maryland. The breeding habitats of these birds are the edges of deciduous and mixed woods across eastern North America. The range of this bird overlaps with that of the similar Bullock's Oriole in the midwest, and the two species are sometimes considered to be conspecific under the name Northern Oriole. 

These birds migrate in flocks to southern Mexico, Central America and northern South America. Some birds may remain near feeders in winter. The Baltimore Oriole's nest is a tightly woven pouch located on the end of a branch, hanging down on the underside.Baltimore Orioles forage in trees and shrubs, also making short flights to catch insects. They mainly eat insects, berries and nectar, and are often seen sipping at hummingbird feeders. Oriole feeders contain essentially the same food as hummingbird feeders, but are designed for orioles, and are orange instead of red and have larger perches. Baltimore Orioles are also fond of halved oranges, grape jelly and, in their winter quarters, the red arils of Gumbo-limbo.

The male sings a loud flutey whistle that often gives away the bird's location before any sighting can be made.

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