This brilliantly-colored orange and black songbird has a clear, flute-like whistle that varies based on the individual. Common in forests and fields in eastern North America during spring and summer. Females build bag-shaped nests that hang from tall, leafy trees.

Physical Description

Males and females have different feather coloration. Males can be identified by their black head and back, and a bright, boldly colored orange breast and underparts. They also have black wings with orange bars and white trim. Females are less boldly colored, with olive-brown to orange coloration, and brown wings with white wing bars. Juveniles tend to look like females; males don't develop their full coloring until the fall of their second year.

Size

Baltimore orioles are about 6.5-8 inches (17-22 centimeters) long.

Native Habitat

Open woodlands, orchards, and in urban and suburban landscapes.

A migratory bird, Baltimore orioles live in different regions across the Americas depending on the season. They range from central Alberta and Saskatchewan in Canada down to northern Columbia and Venezuela in South America.

Communication

Male members of the species have a loud, flute-like whistling song. They sing this song during the breeding season to establish their territory and attract potential mates.

Food/Eating Habits

The diet of Baltimore orioles changes throughout the year. In the summer, they mostly eat insects, which are rich in the proteins needed for growth. In spring and fall, they seek nectar and ripe fruits; these sugary foods are easily converted into fat, which is necessary to give the birds energy during migration.

Social Structure

Baltimore orioles migrate in flocks and pair up during breeding, but otherwise live alone.

Conservation Efforts

Baltimore Orioles are threatened by habitat loss degradation and use of insecticides that poison both the birds and their prey. Also, many migrating songbirds like orioles are threatened by light pollution, which can disorient them at night and lead to fatal collisions with buildings and tall structures.

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