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Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore orioles are another favorite of bird watchers. Some food and water will attract this beauty to your yard.

Just like the robin, the oriole is a sign of spring, and summer for many in the United States and Canada.  Orioles are one of the most colorful and vocal of the birds that visit our backyard feeders, and gardens.

Identification and Pictures - Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole(Classification: Icterus Galbula)

Baltimore orioles are 7 to 8 inches.

Male orioles are flame orange or yellow with a black hood that extends to the back.  The tail and wings are black with white wing bars.  The female and young are Olive-brown above, and burnt orange below. Some females will have a black hood but it is not as pronounced as the male.

Bullock’s OrioleBullock’s oriole is slightly different colors than the Baltimore oriole.  Bullock’s has yellow cheeks and a black eye band, and a large white wing patch.

There is also an Orchard Oriole.  The under parts are a darker orange than the others and the male is much darker. The white on the wings is not as vivid as it is in the other.

Photo by Keith Lee.  The camera I use is the Canon EOS 40D and a 70 to 300 zoom lens.

Download Oriole puzzle

The Spot breasted oriole looks like the Baltimore except for an orange head, a black bib, and spots on the sides of the breast.

There are various hybrid oriels where their ranges overlap.

Song and Sound of the Oriole
The song of the Baltimore oriole is a sequence of rich piping whistled notes, sometimes with harsh raspy notes.  There is also a tee-dee-dee or hoo-lee sound.  Males will tend to have an identifiable pattern.  The female song is less patterned than the male.  Loud nasal calls that sound like dee-dee-dee are made by young birds or fledglings. 

Baltimore Oriole sounds:

1 Click for Sound
2 Click for Sound

Habitat and Range

Orioles prefer open woods, shade trees orchards, parks, and gardens with shade trees.  They can be found across the Eastern US and Canada and winter in Florida, the Gulf Coast and Central and South America.

Nesting and Breeding

In Courtship the male will face the female, and bow with his wings, and tail spread out.  Baltimore orioles like to breed in thickets with scattered tall trees near a forest edge or close to water.  The nest built mostly by the female will often be in a tree or shrub 5 to 15 feet high, however they do put them much higher.  They make a deep pouch or sock like nest that is bound at the top to branches.  It is made of twigs, bark fibers, string, grasses, and other materials.  The nest is lined with moss, plant down, or fine grasses.

The female will incubate 3 to 5 eggs.  The eggs are smooth and glossy.  Color is grayish or bluish-white or with a purple tint.  They can be marked with black or blackish-purple, usually around the large end.

The young are fed by both parents, and can fly in around two weeks.

Food and Feeding

Natural foods are caterpillars, other insects, blossoms, fruit, and berries.  They are easily attracted to bird feeders with fruit, jellies, peanut butter, or suet.

Baltimore orioles will visit birdbaths to bathe, and drink. 

For more on Food and Feeding click here

Oriole posters Oriole posters

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