Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Adult male
Adult female
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Icteridae
Genus: Icterus
Species: I. galbula
Binomial name
Icterus galbula
(Linnaeus, 1758)
blue: breeding; red: wintering

The Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) is a small icterid blackbird that averages 18 cm long and weighs 34 g. This bird 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 Orioles, a Major League Baseball team in Baltimore, Maryland, were named after this bird. It is also the state bird of Maryland.



Adults have a pointed bill and white bars on the wings. The adult male is orange on the underparts, shoulder patch and rump. All of the rest of the male is black. The adult female is yellow-brown on the upper parts with darker wings, and dull orange on the breast and belly.

Distribution and ecology

Juvenile in Maryland, USA

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 because they form fertile hybrids.

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.

The Baltimore Oriole is a rare vagrant to western Europe.

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 (Bursera simaruba).[1]

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


  1. ^ Foster (2007)


  • BirdLife International (2004). Icterus galbula. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  • Foster, Mercedes S. (2007): The potential of fruiting trees to enhance converted habitats for migrating birds in southern Mexico. Bird Conservation International 17(1): 45-61. doi:10.1017/S0959270906000554 PDF fulltext
  • Hilty, Steven L. (2003): Birds of Venezuela. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5
  • Stiles, F. Gary & Skutch, Alexander Frank (1989): A guide to the birds of Costa Rica. Comistock, Ithaca. ISBN 0-8014-9600-4

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

, , (Icterus Baltimore or Oriolus Baltimore)

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Baltimore oriole — ☆ Baltimore oriole n. [so named from having the colors of the coat of arms of Lord Baltimore (son of 1st Baron Baltimore), colonial proprietor of Maryland] a North American oriole (Icterus galbula) that has an orange body with black on the head,… …   English World dictionary

  • Baltimore oriole — Baltimore bird Bal ti*more bird , Baltimore oriole Bal ti*more o ri*ole (Zo[ o]l.) A common bird ({Icterus galbula}) of eastern and central America and Canada, named after Lord Baltimore, because its colors (black and orange red) are like those… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Baltimore oriole — noun eastern subspecies of northern oriole • Syn: ↑Baltimore bird, ↑hangbird, ↑firebird, ↑Icterus galbula galbula • Hypernyms: ↑northern oriole, ↑Icterus galbula * * * noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • Baltimore oriole — šiaurinis spalvingasis trupialas statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Icterus galbula angl. Baltimore oriole vok. Baltimore Trupial, m rus. балтиморская иволга, f; балтиморский цветной трупиал, m pranc. oriole du Nord, m… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • Baltimore oriole — an oriole, Icterus galbula galbula, of eastern North America: a subspecies of the northern oriole. [1800 10; earlier Baltimore (bird); so named because the black and orange of the male were the colors of Lord BALTIMORE s livery] * * * …   Universalium

  • Baltimore oriole — noun Etymology: George Calvert, Lord Baltimore Date: 1808 an oriole (Icterus galbula) of the eastern and central United States and southern Canada in which the male has a solid black head and the female usually has an olive brown back and orange… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Baltimore oriole — Bal′timore o′riole n. orn a North American oriole, Icterus galbula galbula, the eastern subspecies of the northern oriole, the male of which has a black head and upper body, bright orange underparts and tail, and a white wing bar • Etymology:… …   From formal English to slang

  • baltimore oriole — Golden robin, hand bird, fiery hang bird (Icterus Baltimore or Oriolus Baltimore) …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • Baltimore Oriole (disambiguation) — Baltimore Oriole may refer to:*Baltimore Oriole ( Icterus galbula ), a small blackbird found mostly in the Americas. They are New World orioles, not to be confused with orioles. *The 1942 Jazz song Baltimore Oriole , originally by Hoagy… …   Wikipedia

  • Baltimore Orioles — gegründet 1894 Voller Name Baltimore Orioles …   Deutsch Wikipedia