Baltimore Oriole - National Wildlife Federation

Scientific name: Icterus galbula

Baltimore Orioles have brilliant orange undersides and shoulders with black heads and wings. A white bar runs across each wing. Females and young males are less striking in appearance with their yellowish orange and dark gray to brown plumage. Both males and females have long legs and sharp beaks.

Size: Baltimore Orioles are 6 to 8 inches in length with a wingspan of 9 to 12 inches. P> Diet: They primarily eat insects in the summer but switch to nectar and fruit in the fall. They prefer to eat dark-colored fruits, and some farmers consider them pests. However, Baltimore orioles eat lots of caterpillar larvae that cause damage to trees if their numbers are not kept in check. Therefore, Baltimore orioles of far more good than harm!

Predation: Eggs and young birds are especially vulnerable to predators such as squirrels, owls, large birds, and domestic cats.

Typical Lifespan: Baltimore Orioles can live up to 11 years in the wild and even longer in captivity. >

Habitat: Their preferred habitat is open deciduous woodlands. Baltimore Orioles also do quite well in community parks and suburban backyards. They forage in the treetops and commonly build nests in American elms, cottonwoods, and maples.

More news: News - Keep Truckee Green

Range: Baltimore Orioles can be seen in the eastern U.S. And as far as Montana for at least part of the year. Migrating populations head south during the late summer to early fall and stay in the Southeast or Central and South America until April.

Fun Fact: The Baltimore Oriole is named for the English Baltimore family, whose crest is similar to the bird.

Overall, Baltimore oriole numbers are stable. There is a small decline in the east, but this is compensated for by an increase in the western part of their range. These birds are threatened by deforestation and pesticide use on trees. You can easily invite them into your backyard by planting native fruit and nectar-producing plants or by hanging feeders of sugar water.

  • Adam Floyd