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Baltimore Oriole

Scientific name: Icterus galbula

The oriole has such a striking orange coloration that it will be quick to catch your eye. Its black hood and wings stand in sharp contrast, making this an easy identification.  The female is a more subdued yellow with grey wings. Scroll down to the photo gallery for a look. This bird got its name as its colors are the same as that of the family crest of Lord Baltimore.

Photo Credit: Missouri Department of Conservation


From 1 to 1 1/2 ounces


9 inches

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The oriole is a fruit lover! They prefer dark-colored fruits such as cherries, grapes and raspberries. They also dine on many different kinds insects and drink nectar from plants.


They can be found in open areas near woodlands. They enjoy being high up in trees.

Life Cycle

Once the oriole arrives here in May to breed, they will build their unusual nest high up in trees. It looks like a hanging basket and is constructed of whatever varied material is available, ranging from plant fibers, horsehair, twine, fishing line and so on. The male might help finding the materials, but the female makes the nest and then lays from 3-8 eggs. Most baby orioles hatch in June and become independent in July, in time to prepare for the fall migration.


The oriole leaves for tropical climates by mid September and arrives back in the area by May.

Human Connections

You can attract this beautiful bird to your yard by offering its favorite foods, such as half oranges and grape jelly. Read here to learn more.

Did You Know?

American songbirds have declined in population by almost 50% from 1966 to 2015.  To learn more, the please read this   article in National Geographic Magazine.

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