Baltimore Oriole, Icterus galbula
Baltimore orioles are found in the Nearctic in summer, primarily the eastern United States. They breed
from Minnesota to Maine and south to central Mississippi and Alabama and northern Georgia. They
migrate to winter in the Neotropics as far north as Mexico and sometimes the southern coast of the
United States, but predominantly in Central America and northern South America.
The association involves several distinctive plant adaptations
Baltimore orioles are often found high up in large, leafy deciduous trees, but do not generally reside
in deep forests. The species has been found in summer and migration in open woodland, forest edge,
and partially wooded wetlands or stands of trees along rivers.
Baltimore orioles are basically solitary outside their mating season. The species is generally considered
monogamous. In the spring, males establish a territory then display to females by singing and chattering while hopping
from perch to perch in front of them. The females may ignore these displays or sing
and give calls or a wing-quiver display in response.
The song is a disjointed measured 2-note whitled melodic phrases, som ewith long pauses:
hue-lee, hue-lee, hue-lee. Call is rich hue-lee. Also a series
of ratttling chatter: caw-caw-caw-caw.
Solitary or in pairs in the breeding season. In family groups after nesting, although some males remain
solitary. May join mixed foraging flocks in winther and migration. Forages in bushes and trees, often
high in canopy. East insects, capterpillars, berries and fruits. Sips nectar.
Smaller and more slender than an American Robin, Baltimore Orioles are medium-sized,
sturdy-bodied songbirds with thick necks and long legs. Look for their long, thick-based, pointed
bills, a hallmark of the blackbird family they belong to.
Length: 6.7-7.5 in (17-19 cm)
Weight: 1.1-1.4 oz (30-40 g)
Wingspan: 9.1-11.8 in (23-30 cm)
Adult males are flame-orange and black, with a solid-black head and one white bar on their black
wings. Females and immature males are yellow-orange on the breast, grayish on the head and
back, with two bold white wing bars.
Monogamous. Solitary. Displaying male spreads tail and wings, bows to female.
The female chooses a nest site within the territory defended by her mate. She anchors the nest
firmly to a fork in the slender upper branches of a tree. Baltimore Orioles often nest in American
elms, but will build in other trees, especially maples and cottonwoods. The distinctive nest usually
hangs below a branch, but is sometimes anchored along a vertical tree trunk
Baltimore Orioles build remarkable, sock-like hanging nests, woven together from slender fibers.
The female weaves the nest, usually 3 to 4 inches deep, with a small opening, 2 to 3 inches wide,
on top and a bulging bottom chamber, 3 to 4 inches across, where her eggs will rest. She anchors
her nest high in a tree, first hanging long fibers over a small branch, then poking and darting her
bill in and out to tangle the hank. While no knots are deliberately tied, soon the random poking has
made knots and tangles, and the female brings more fibers to extend, close, and finally line the
nest. Construction materials can include grass, strips of grapevine bark, wool, and horsehair, as
well as artificial fibers such as cellophane, twine, or fishing line.
Incubation is 12-14 days by female. Altricial young brooded by female. Young stay in the nest 12-14
days and are fed by both sexes. There is one brood per year.
Swift, strong and direct flight on rapidly beating wings. Orange-yellow in dark tail flashes during flight.
Common in deciduous woodlots, riparian woodlands, wooland edges and clearings, and around human
Oranges, peanut butter, suet or nectar.
It’s nesting time! Birds are master builders, putting together intricately made weavings of twig
and leaf, stem and fluff, hair and moss
Take this quick quiz and see how much you know about hummingbirds. This quiz is intended for
fun, in a random-facts-can-be-cool kind of way.
This guide features regional native plants for the Great Lakes that are highly
attractive to bird pollinators.