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Baltimore Oriole


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The Baltimore Oriole, Icterus galbula, is a small icterid blackbird which is on average 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, 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.

The male sings a loud flutey whistle that often gives away the bird's location before any sighting can be made. Click to listen to the whistle of a Baltimore Oriole.

Distribution and ecology

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, and there are a couple of British records of birds wintering near garden feeders, including one in Oxford in December 2003. Perhaps the most remarkable record was the incident occurring on 7th and 8th of October, 2001. On this date, in Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland, the first record of this species in Ireland was made.

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).

References

Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern

(2007): The potential of fruiting trees to enhance converted habitats for migrating birds in southern Mexico. Bird Conservation International 17(1): 45-61. PDF fulltext

(2003): Birds of Venezuela. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5

(1989): A guide to the birds of Costa Rica. Comistock, Ithaca. ISBN 0-8014-9600-4

External links

Baltimore Oriole - Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula - USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter

Baltimore Oriole Information and Photos - South Dakota Birds and Birding

Stamps

Baltimore Oriole videos on the Internet Bird Collection

Northern Oriole, Birds of Nova Scotia

Articles

Beletsky LD. (1982). Vocal Behavior of the Northern Oriole Icterus-Galbula-Galbula. Wilson Bull. vol 94, no 3. p. 372-381.

Biermann GC & Sealy SG. (1985). Seasonal Dynamics of Body Mass of Insectivorous Passerines Breeding on the Forested Dune Ridge Delta-Marsh Manitoba Canada. Canadian Journal of Zoology. vol 63, no 7. p. 1675-1682.

Blankespoor HD, Esch GW & Johnson WC. (1985). Some Observations on the Biology of Collyriclum-Faba. Journal of Parasitology. vol 71, no 4. p. 469-471.

Bochkov AV & Galloway TD. (2001). Parasitic cheyletoid mites associated with passeriform birds in Canada. Canadian Journal of Zoology. vol 79, no 11. p. 2014-2028.

Brawn JD. (2006). Effects of restoring oak savannas on bird communities and populations. Conservation Biology. vol 20, no 2. p. 460-469.

Brown BT & Trosset MW. (1989). Nesting-Habitat Relationships of Riparian Birds Along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon Arizona USA. Southw Natural. vol 34, no 2. p. 260-270.

Browning MR. (1975). FIRST OREGON SPECIMEN OF ICTERUS-GALBULA-GALBULA. Auk. vol 92, no 1. p. 162-163.

Butcher GS. (1981). Northern Orioles Icterus-Galbula-Bullockii Disappear with Mount St-Helens Washington USA Ashfall. Murrelet. vol 62, no 1. p. 15-16.

Butcher GS. (1984). The Predator-Deflection Hypothesis for Sexual Color Dimorphism a Test on the Northern Oriole Icterus-Galbula-Bullockii. Animal Behaviour. vol 32, no 3. p. 925-926.

Butcher GS. (1991). Mate Choice in Female Northern Orioles with a Consideration of the Role of the Black Male Coloration in Female Choice. Condor. vol 93, no 1. p. 82-88.

Conover MR. (1982). Behavioral Techniques to Reduce Bird Damage to Blueberries Methiocarb and a Hawk Kite Predator Model. Wildlife Society Bulletin. vol 10, no 3. p. 211-216.

Conway WC, Smith LM & Bergan JF. (2002). Avian use of Chinese tallow seeds in coastal Texas. Southw Natural. vol 47, no 4. p. 550-556.

Corbin KW & Sibley CG. (1977). Rapid Evolution in Orioles of the Genus Icterus. Condor. vol 79, no 3. p. 335-342.

Corbin KW, Sibley CG & Ferguson A. (1979). Genic Changes Associated with the Establishment of Sympatry in Orioles of the Genus Icterus. Evolution. vol 33, no 2. p. 624-633.

Davis CA. (2005). Breeding bird communities in riparian forests along the Central Platte River, Nebraska. Great Plains Research. vol 15, no 2. p. 199-211.

Davis MA, Peterson DW, Reich PB, Crozier M, Query T, Mitchell E, Huntington J & Bazakas P. (2000). Restoring savanna using fire: Impact on the breeding bird community. Restor Ecol. vol 8, no 1. p. 30-40.

Dixon KL. (1989). Contact Zones of Avian Congeners on the Southern Great Plains USA. Condor. vol 91, no 1. p. 15-22.

Edinger BB. (1988). Extra-Pair Courtship and Copulation Attempts in Northern Orioles. Condor. vol 90, no 3. p. 546-554.

Falardeau G & Desgranges JL. (1991). HABITAT SELECTION AND RECENT FLUCTUATIONS IN POPULATIONS OF FARMLAND BIRDS IN QUEBEC. Can Field-Nat. vol 105, no 4. p. 469-482.

Flood NJ. (1984). Adaptive Significance of Delayed Plumage Maturation in Male Northern Orioles Icterus-Galbula. Evolution. vol 38, no 2. p. 267-279.

Flood NJ. (1985). INCIDENCES OF POLYGYNY AND EXTRAPAIR COPULATION IN THE NORTHERN ORIOLE. Auk. vol 102, no 2. p. 410-413.

Flood NJ. (1990). ''Aspects of the Breeding Biology of Audubon's Oriole. J Field Ornithol. vol 61, no 3. p. 290-302.

Freeman S & Zink RM. (1995). A phylogenetic study of the blackbirds based on variation in mitochondrial DNA restriction sites. Syst Biol. vol 44, no 3. p. 409-420.

Graf RL & Greeley F. (1976). NESTING-SITE OF NORTHERN ORIOLE IN AMHERST, MASSACHUSETTS. Wilson Bull. vol 88, no 2. p. 359-360.

Greenberg R, Bichier P & Sterling J. (1997). Bird populations in rustic and planted shade coffee plantations of eastern Chiapas, Mexico. Biotropica. vol 29, no 4. p. 501-514.

Hobson KA & Sealy SG. (1987). COWBIRD EGG BURIED BY A NORTHERN ORIOLE. J Field Ornithol. vol 58, no 2. p. 222-224.

Hubbard GB, Schmidt RE, Eisenbrandt DL, Witt WM & Fletcher KC. (1985). Fungal Infections of Ventriculi in Captive Birds. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. vol 21, no 1. p. 25-28.

Jobin B, DesGranges J-L & Boutin C. (1998). Farmland habitat use by breeding birds in Southern Quebec. Canadian Field Naturalist. vol 112, no 4. p. 611-618.

Kerlinger P & Doremus C. (1981). Habitat Disturbance and the Decline of Dominant Avian Species in Pine Barrens of the Northeastern USA. American Birds. vol 35, no 1. p. 16-20.

Kondo B, Baker JM & Omland KE. (2004). Recent speciation between the Baltimore Oriole and the Black-backed Oriole. Condor. vol 106, no 3. p. 674-680.

Labedz TE. (1984). Age and Reproductive Success in Northern Orioles Icterus-Galbula. Wilson Bull. vol 96, no 2. p. 303-305.

Lambert C. (1992). Winter northern oriole in Tucker, Dekalb County, Georgia. Oriole. vol 57, no 1-4.

Mackenzie DI, Sealy SG & Sutherland GD. (1982). Nest Site Characteristics of the Avian Community in the Dune Ridge Forest Delta Marsh Manitoba Canada a Multi Variate Analysis. Canadian Journal of Zoology. vol 60, no 9. p. 2212-2223.

Marr NV. (1985). Gopher Snake Pituophis-Melanoleucus Preys on Northern Oriole Icterus-Galbula Nestlings. Murrelet. vol 66, no 3. p. 95-97.

Martinez Del Rio C & Eguiarte LE. (1987). Bird Visitation to Agave-Salmiana Comparisons among Hummingbirds and Perching Birds. Condor. vol 89, no 2. p. 357-363.

Matson RH. (1989). Distribution of the Testis-Specific Ldh-X among Avian Taxa with Comments on the Evolution of the Ldh Gene Family. Systematic Zoology. vol 38, no 2. p. 106-115.

Neudorf DL & Sealy SG. (1992). Reactions of four passerine species to threats of predation and cowbird parasitism: Enemy recognition or generalized responses?. Behaviour. vol 123, no 1-2. p. 84-105.

Omland KE, Lanyon SM & Fritz SJ. (1999). A molecular phylogeny of the new world orioles (Icterus): The importance of dense taxon sampling. Mol Phylogenet Evol. vol 12, no 2. p. 224-239.

Palmer T. (1992). Population Changes in a Long-Term Northern Oriole Winter Roost in Central Florida. Florida Field Naturalist. vol 20, no 1. p. 18-20.

Parry D, Spence JR & Volney WJA. (1997). Responses of natural enemies to experimentally increased populations of the forest tent caterpillar, Malacosoma disstria. Ecol Entomol. vol 22, no 1. p. 97-108.

Perkins MW, Johnson RJ & Blankenship EE. (2003). Response of riparian avifauna to percentage and pattern of woody cover in an agricultural landscape. Wildlife Society Bulletin. vol 31, no 3. p. 642-660.

Pleasants BY. (1979). Adaptive Significance of the Variable Dispersion Pattern of Breeding Northern Orioles. Condor. vol 81, no 1. p. 28-34.

Quay WB. (1989). Timing of Sperm Releases and Inseminations in Resident Emberizids a Comparative Study. Condor. vol 91, no 4. p. 941-961.

Quinn JS, Guglich E, Seutin G, Lau R, Marsolais J, Parna L, Boag PT & White BN. (1992). Characterization and Assessment of an Avian Repetitive DNA Sequence as an Icterid Phylogenetic Marker. Genome. vol 35, no 1. p. 155-162.

Richardson DS & Bolen GM. (1999). A nesting association between semi-colonial Bullock's orioles and yellow-billed magpies: evidence for the predator protection hypothesis. Behav Ecol Sociobiol. vol 46, no 6. p. 373-380.

Richardson DS & Burke T. (1999). Extra-pair paternity in relation to male age in Bullock's orioles. Mol Ecol. vol 8, no 12. p. 2115-2126.

Richardson DS & Burke T. (2001). Extrapair paternity and variance in reproductive success related to breeding density in Bullock's orioles. Animal Behaviour. vol 62, p. 519-525.

Rising JD. (1973). MORPHOLOGICAL VARIATION AND STATUS OF ORIOLES, ICTERUS-GALBULA, I-BULLOCKII, AND I-ABEILLEI, IN NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS AND IN DURANGO, MEXICO. Can J Zool-Rev Can Zool. vol 51, no 12. p. 1267-1273.

Rising JD. (1996). The stability of the oriole hybrid zone in Western Kansas. Condor. vol 98, no 3. p. 658-663.

Rohwer S & Johnson MS. (1992). SCHEDULING DIFFERENCES OF MOLT AND MIGRATION FOR BALTIMORE AND BULLOCKS ORIOLES PERSIST IN A COMMON ENVIRONMENT. Condor. vol 94, no 4. p. 992-994.

Rosenberg KV, Ohmart RD & Anderson BW. (1982). Community Organization of Riparian Breeding Birds Response to an Annual Resource Peak. Auk. vol 99, no 2. p. 260-274.

Roskaft E, Rohwer S & Spaw CD. (1993). COST OF PUNCTURE EJECTION COMPARED WITH COSTS OF REARING COWBIRD CHICKS FOR NORTHERN ORIOLES. Ornis Scandinavica. vol 24, no 1. p. 28-32.

Rothstein SI. (1977). COWBIRD PARASITISM AND EGG RECOGNITION OF NORTHERN ORIOLE. Wilson Bull. vol 89, no 1. p. 21-32.

Rothstein SI. (1978). Mechanisms of Avian Egg Recognition Additional Evidence for Learned Components. Animal Behaviour. vol 26, no 3. p. 671-677.

Schaefer VH. (1980). Geographic Variation in the Insulative Qualities of Nests of the Northern Oriole Icterus-Galbula. Wilson Bull. vol 94, no 4. p. 466-474.

Schemske DW. (1975). TERRITORIALITY IN A NECTAR FEEDING NORTHERN ORIOLE IN COSTA-RICA. Auk. vol 92, no 3. p. 594-595.

Sealy SG. (1979). Prebasic Molt of the Northern Oriole Icterus-Galbula. Canadian Journal of Zoology. vol 57, no 7. p. 1473-1478.

Sealy SG. (1980). Reproductive Responses of Northern Orioles Icterus-Galbula to a Changing Food Supply. Canadian Journal of Zoology. vol 58, no 2. p. 221-227.

Sealy SG. (1994). OBSERVED ACTS OF EGG DESTRUCTION, EGG REMOVAL, AND PREDATION ON NESTS OF PASSERINE BIRDS AT DELTA MARSH, MANITOBA. Can Field-Nat. vol 108, no 1. p. 41-51.

Sealy SG. (1996). Evolution of host defenses against brood parasitism: Implications of puncture-ejection by a small passerine. Auk. vol 113, no 2. p. 346-355.

Sealy SG & Neudorf DL. (1995). Male northern orioles eject cowbird eggs: Implications for the evolution of rejection behaviour. Condor. vol 97, no 2. p. 369-375.

Searcy WA & Yasukawa K. (1981). Sexual Size Dimorphism and Survival of Male and Female Blackbirds Icteridae. Auk. vol 98, no 3. p. 457-465.

Skowron C & Kern M. (1980). The Insulation in Nests of Selected North American Song Birds. Auk. vol 97, no 4. p. 816-824.

Steinegger DH, Aguero DA, Johnson RJ & Eskridge KM. (1991). MONOFILAMENT LINES FAIL TO PROTECT GRAPES FROM BIRD DAMAGE. Hortscience. vol 26, no 7. p. 924-924.

Stephen BH, Dawn MB, Ken AE, Michael DC & Lyle F. (2004). Partial cutting of woodlots in an agriculture-dominated landscape: effects on forest bird communities. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. vol 34, no 12. p. 2467.

Swiderski J. (2002). A winter Baltimore Oriole flock in Valdosta, Georgia. Oriole. vol 67, no 1-2.

Underwood TJ & Sealy SG. (2006). Grasp-ejection in two small ejecters of cowbird eggs: a test of bill-size constraints and the evolutionary equilibrium hypothesis. Animal Behaviour. vol 71, p. 409-416.

Zegers DA, May S & Goodrich LJ. (2000). Identification of nest predators at farm/forest edge and forest interior sites''. J Field Ornithol. vol 71, no 2. p. 207-216.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Baltimore Oriole


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