Baltimore Oriole – Maryland State bird
Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)
Description: A small and slender member of the blackbird family, the Baltimore Oriole is distinct for its bold orange-and-black plumage. The Baltimore Oriole was named for the English Baltimore family, whose heraldic crest sports the same bright colors.
Year Designated: 1947
|Life Span||6 to 10 Years|
|Wing Span||23-30 cm|
Taxonomic Serial Number 179083
Compared to the Average State Bird
How the Baltimore Oriole measures up:
- Wing span: 6 cm and 17% smaller than the average state bird’s wingspan (36 cm).
- Weight: 45 g and 53% lighter than the average state bird’s weight (85 g)
- Length: 8 cm and 30% shorter than the average state bird’s length (27 cm)
|Male Appearance||Sturdy body, longish tail, fairly long legs, and a thick, pointed bill. Orange plumage on the chest and underbelly, black plumage on the neck, face, and back, and white bars on the wings.|
|Female Appearance||Sturdy body, longish tail, fairly long legs, and a thick, pointed bill. Dull orange-yellow plumage on the chest and underbelly, yellow-brown plumage on the upper parts, and darker wings.|
|Diet||The Baltimore Oriole diet consists of insects, especially the Forest Tent Caterpillar Moth Larvae, fruit, preferably ripe, and dark-colored and berries, including mulberries and cherries.|
|Communication Styles||The male’s voice is a loud, flute-like whistle with a buzzy bold quality. He usually sings high in canopies, far out of sight, in efforts to establish his territory. The female’s songs are shorter and often forms of communication with her partner.|
|Migratory Behavior||Medium- to long-distance migrant. Spends summer in eastern and central North America and winter in Florida, the Caribbean, and Latin America.|
Range of Habitation
High, leafy trees in open woodland, forest edge, river banks, and small groves of trees.
eastern screech owls, coopers, sharp-shinned hawks, common grackles, american crows, blue jays, black-billed magpies, tree squirrels and house cats.
Mating and Breeding
|Breeding Behavior||Generally considered monogamous, although extra-pair copulation is somewhat common.|
|Nesting||Sock-like hanging nests of twigs. 2-3 inches wide on top and a bulging bottom 3-4 inches wide.|
|Color||Pale grayish or bluish white blotched with brown, black, or lavender.|
|Clutch Size||3 to 7 egg(s)|
|Egg Laying Months||Spring|
Helpless, eyes closed, with sparse white down.
|Interesting Fact||Although named for the physically similar Oriolidae family of the Old World, the Baltimore Oriole is actually a member of the blackbird family.|
|Best Season to Observe||Spring|
|Observation Tips||Look for Baltimore Orioles high in leafy deciduous trees, but not in deep forests.|
|Other Names||Northern Oriole|