The public has voted and now the 10 oriole chicks hatched at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s (NZCBI) Bird House have names! In June, Bird House keepers celebrated the arrival of seven orchard oriole chicks—the first of their species to hatch in human care—which hatched in the Bird Friendly Coffee Farm Aviary. That same month, three Baltimore oriole chicks hatched in the same exhibit, in a nearby tree. Both species are native to Maryland, and the Baltimore oriole is the state bird of Maryland. Given the chicks’ significance and the species’ ties to the region, NZCBI partnered with Maryland Governor Wes Moore to name these special birds.
The winning names for the orchard oriole chicks are:
- Charm – Baltimore’s nickname is Charm City
- Chessie – The Chesapeake Bay estuary borders both sides of Maryland
- Crabcake – Maryland’s favorite seafood dish
- Harriet – Marylander Harriet Tubman guided enslaved people to freedom as a conductor of the Underground Railroad
- Thurgood – Marylander Thurgood Marshall served as the Supreme Court’s first African American justice from 1967 to 1991
- Zappa – Famed musician Frank Zappa was born in Baltimore, Maryland
- Francis – Marylander Francis Scott Key authored “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States
In choosing names for our three Baltimore oriole chicks, Governor Wes Moore was inspired by Maryland’s own Major League Baseball team, the Baltimore Orioles! The first chick was named in honor of “Mr. Oriole” himself, former third baseman and Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson. The second chick’s moniker honors former shortstop and Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. Moore bestowed the name Adam Jones on the third chick, honoring the former outfielder and five-time MLB All-Star.
Visit the new Bird House at the Zoo to see and learn more about these special birds and so many more!