Icterus Galbula – Baltimore Oriole

Icterus Galbula - Baltimore Oriole found in the US

The Baltimore oriole (Icterus galbula) is a migratory breeding bird found in eastern North America. The male’s hues resemble those of 17th century Lord Baltimore’s coat of arms. From 1973 until 1995, the Baltimore oriole and the western Bullock’s oriole, Icterus bullockii, were classified as a single species, the northern oriole. According to zoologist James Rising and others, the two birds did not interbreed considerably.

Quick Overview: Icterus Galbula – Baltimore Oriole
Body size: Around 7-8.25 in (18-21 cm) and a weight of 34 g (1.2 oz)
Main colors: Black, Yellow-Orange, Orange, Olive-brown, Brown, White,
Range: Southeastern United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: June, July, August, September
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Baltimore Oriole Description

Males are 1-5 percent bigger than females in a number of metrics. Their black heads, bills, and backs contrast with their brilliant yellow-orange breasts. wing bars, and an orange tail with black streaks. Females are olive-brown to orange in color. A dark beak and brown wings with white wing bands. Her hair may be a shade of black. Immature animals resemble female. Males mature in over a year.

Icterus Galbula - Baltimore Oriole found in the US
Icterus Galbula – Baltimore Oriole. Photo by: chumlee10


These birds have a length of 7-8.25 in (18-21 cm) and a weight of 34 g (1.2 oz). Their wings could range from 11.25-12.5 in (29-32 cm).


Baltimore orioles consume caterpillars, which include numerous pests. They consume bugs, tiny fruits, and nectar. Pest forest tent caterpillar Malacosoma disstria larval and pupal stages are eaten by them. To prevent the setae, large larvae are squashed against a twig (stiff, hair-like structures). Pupae are dragged from cocoons.


It favors deciduous over coniferous trees in open woodlands. They are flexible and can breed in a wide range of settings, though. Urban parks and suburban environments suit them nicely. The birds winter on Mexico’s coffee plantations’ blossoming canopy trees.


The Icterus galbula is not a social animal. Flying is powerful and straight for icterids. Summer and winter ranges of these birds are migratory. The size of the territory varies according on environment, food, population density, and breeding season. If the male is trying to attract a female, it is at its peak, and at its peak after egg-laying

Icterus Galbula Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Icteridae
  • Genus: Icterus
  • Species: Icterus galbula

Best time of the year to see

The best time to see these birds in the United States is during the summer season (June – September).

Distribution of the Baltimore Oriole in the USA

Baltimore orioles migrate to the tropics. They spend their summers in the Nearctic, mostly in the United States. In the southeastern United States., they breed from Wisconsin to Maine, and north to northern Georgia, western South Carolina, and there are other reports of neotropical birds wintering in Florida.

The Baltimore Oriole can be found in the following states in the United States – Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

Icterus Galbula – Baltimore Oriole

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