Baltimore Oriole

Common Name: Baltimore Oriole

Class:  Aves

Order: Passeriformes

Family: Icteridae

Genus: Icterus

Species: Icterus galbula

photo M. Noonan

Taxonomy/Description

The Northern Oriole is a beautiful, bright orange colored bird with a distinctive black hood, back, and wings. Like other blackbirds, the female is of a different physical appearance than the male, being a dull yellow-brown color. Size: 17-19 cm (7-7 in) Wingspan: 23-30 cm (9-12 in) Weight: 30-40 g (1.06-1.41 ounces)


photo M. Noonan

Habitat/Diet

Although the Oriole is historically a bird of woodland edge and open woods, the Northern Oriole has adapted well to urban parks and suburban landscapes. The Oriole also enjoys open areas with scattered trees. In the summer, the Northern Oriole can be found in the north and the midwest. During winter, the Oriole may migrate all the way down to the northern tip of South America. The Northern Oriole likes to feed on insects such as caterpillars and spiders, as well as fruits and nectar. The Oriole forages solitarily in trees, on ground, in bushes.


photo Ivan Andrijevic

Behavior/Reproduction

The Northern Oriole lays one clutch of eggs per year. The nests are commonly found in isolated trees, at edge of woodlands, or in urban parks. The nest is usually gourd-shaped and woven from hair, plant fibers, and synthetic fibers. The Northern Oriole's eggs are a [ale grayish-white, streaked and blotched with dark lines. The eggs are incubated for a period 11-14 days. The chicks are strong enough to leave the nest 12-14 days after being born.


photo Ivan Andrijevic

Where to see them in WNY

The Northern Oriole is found mostly in parks, or areas with scattered trees. Iroquois National Wildlife and Losson Park are two large, beautiful areas where the Northern Oriole is very likely to be seen.

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