The orange plumage is perhaps a more wonderful sight than that of hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. Standing between 2nd and 3rd base for years playing for a Major League Baseball team named after this now famous songbird.

The Baltimore Oriole treats bird watchers with its blaze orange colouring and its sweet songs that welcome spring each and every year for most of the eastern United States and the southern regions of many Canadian provinces.

Where to Find the Baltimore Oriole

The Baltimore Oriole spends its winter months in warm, tropical locales from Florida, the Caribbean, Central America and northern regions of South America and returns to the eastern and Midwestern United States and into southern regions of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and the Canadian Maritime provinces during the summer breeding months.

These birds prefer open spaces to densely forested areas and can be found in the tops of deciduous trees in orchards, forest edges, and urban parks and in backyards. Baltimore Orioles have adapted to coinciding with humans quite well and can often be spotted in populated areas.

 

Identification

Males are a relatively easy bird to identify with their trademark flame-orange plumage and solid-black head. Males also sport one white bar on their black wings, which provides an easy identifier for those out in the field. Females on the other hand sport a lighter orange colouring and gray-coloured head and feature two distinct white bars on their wings.

Vocals

A defining song for spring time in much of North America, the song of the Baltimore Oriole is unmistakable to those familiar with it. The songs from the male are flutelike in sound and can be repeated up to seven times in succession. The female of the species also has her song, mainly used to communicate with her mate and often consists of a much shorter version of the male’s song. Calls are also a part of the Orioles repertoire, featuring a “chuck” call to warn neighbouring Orioles of potential danger, a staccato chatter for aggressive encounters and a scream type of call when defending their young or nesting site.

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