• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Baltimore Oriole - Hyoid Apparatus? (1 Viewer)


New member

This is my first post on birdforum and I am curious about Baltimore Orioles as they are typically around my area. I was wondering if they have a hyoid apparatus, like the hummingbird, who uses the extension of the tongue to lap nectar. I was wondering how Baltimore Orioles, and perhaps Orioles in general get into nectar-based feeders that also prevent bees from entering.

I suppose my question is more of a scientific question relating to average beak size for the species.. if anyone has any links on their beak size or general length that would be awesome!



Speak softly and carry a long lens
Not an ID question - maybe Birds & Birding forum?

Anyway, all birds (and, I presume, all vertebrates) have "a" hyoid apparatus, which refers to the whole complex of bones, muscles, and cartilage that supports the larynx and the tongue. I think you're asking whether orioles have extremely long branchial bones (a.k.a. hyoid horns), like woodpeckers and hummingbirds.

While not nearly as extreme as in woodpeckers, quite a few birds that you wouldn't think of as long-tongued have surprisingly long hyoid horns. See illustrations for peewee and chicken here:


New member
Yes I wasn't sure if it was an ID post per se, because I was trying to identify what species, particularly Baltimore Orioles, possess the hyoid apparatus.

What I am really looking for is the general length of the Baltimore Oriole's beak, and the distance it is able to extend its tongue. I was able to gather alot of information on the hummingbird, but not nearly the amount I was hoping for for the Orioles.

I am going to finish reading the remainder of the article you posted now and see if anything helps me in there.


Users who are viewing this thread