Baltimore Oriole Is The Official State Bird Of Maryland. Maryland Adopted the Baltimore oriole (Icterus galbula) as the official state bird in 1947. Adult male Baltimore Orioles have striking coloration and are easily recognized by the brilliant orange plumage on their undersides and shoulders.
The male bird’s head and beak are black, and its wings are black with a white bar running across. Females and young males are less striking in appearance, with yellowish-orange and dark gray or brown plumage. Both males and females have long legs and sharp beaks. Maryland State Bird Baltimore Orioles are six to eight inches (15 to 20 centimeters) in length with a wingspan of 9 to 12 inches (23 to 30 centimeters).
For at least part of the year, State Bird Of Maryland Baltimore Orioles can be seen in the eastern United States and as far west as Montana. Migrating populations head south during the late summer to early fall and stay in the Southeast U.S., Central America, or South America until April. Their preferred habitat is open deciduous woodlands. Maryland State Bird Baltimore Orioles also do quite well in community parks and suburban backyards. They forage in the treetops and commonly build nests in American elms, cottonwoods, and maples.
State Bird Of Maryland Baltimore Orioles primarily eat insects in the summer, but switch to nectar and fruit in the fall, preferring to eat dark-colored fruits. Some farmers consider them pests—however, Baltimore Orioles eat lots of caterpillar larvae that cause damage to trees if their numbers aren’t kept in check, so they do more good than harm.
Males court females with songs and visual displays. An interested female responds by fluttering her wings and calling back to him. The female bird then builds her nest in her partner’s territory. The nest of the Baltimore oriole is quite extraordinary—it’s sock-shaped, woven with a number of materials, and hangs from a slender tree branch. Maryland State Bird Baltimore Orioles can live up to 11 years in the wild and even longer in captivity.
Interesting Facts About Baltimore Orioles:
- Baltimore Orioles got their name because of their bright orange and black colors, which were the same as the crest for the family of Lord Baltimore.
- Baltimore Orioles are very sensitive to insecticides. Insecticides have the adverse effect of killing insects that orioles eat, and the poison can also directly kill orioles if they’re exposed to it.
- One of the Baltimore Orioles favorite things to eat is caterpillars. This is important because their appetite for caterpillars and other pests can help protect forests.