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Baltimore Oriole - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Icterus galbula)
Photo © by wv_vireo
Stauffer's Marsh, Shanghai, West Virginia, USA
Icterus galbula


Photo © by red-dawn35
East Rock Park, Connecticut, USA

(7-8.5") L. 18-22cm

  • Black head, back, wings, and tail
  • Orange breast, rump, and shoulder patch

There is no other eastern bird which resembles the male Baltimore Oriole.

  • Olive-brown above
  • Dull yellow-orange underparts
  • 2 dull white wing bars


Photo © by stephennj
New Jersey, USA, August 2008

Breeds from Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia south through the Dakotas south to eastern Texas, Louisiana, and Virginia. Winters in Florida, along southern Atlantic coast of the United States, Central America, and northern South America. Rare vagrant to California.
Casual vagrant elsewhere in the western United States.
Accidental vagrant to Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, the UK, Norway, the Netherlands, and Chile.


The Baltimore Oriole was once combined with the western counterpart Bullock's Oriole as a single species, the Northern Oriole, because they began to interbreed on the Great Plains, when the two forms extended their ranges and met.

This is in spite of these two forms not being each others closest relatives (the closest relative of Baltimore Oriole is the Black-backed Oriole.

This is a monotypic species[1].


Juvenal males
Photo © by Doctor Hamfat
AireLea Ranch, Michigan, USA

Deciduous woodlands and shade trees. Before the tree's decline, the American elm was a favorite nesting site for the eastern bird.


Very acrobatic in the tree canopy.


Their diet consists mainly of insects and fruit.


Photo © by Heiku-me
New York State, US, June 2011

Four to six greyish eggs, spotted and scrawled with dark brown and black. Nest is a well-woven pendant bag of plant fibres, bark, and string, suspended from the tip of a branch.


Song: Clear and flute-like whistled single or double notes in short, distinct phrases with much individual variation.
Call: A harsh check call given during alarm by both male and female.

In Culture

The Baltimore Oriole is the State Bird of Maryland


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Birds of America
  3. Birdforum thread discussing the Taxonomy of New World Orioles
  4. Birdforum thread discussing the hybridization in "Northern Orioles"

Recommended Citation

External Links

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