7 Surprising Baltimore Oriole Facts
Learn surprising Baltimore oriole facts about one of spring's most gorgeous bird species, including why these birds aren't actually orioles at all!
Baltimore Oriole Facts: Baltimore Orioles vs Bullock’s Oriole
One interesting Baltimore oriole fact—this colorful bird Bullock’s oriole were considered the same species, called the Northern oriole, until the 1990s when genetic testing helped separate them.
Fruit Farmers Don’t Like Orioles
Many fruit growers think of orioles as pests, because, with their love of sweet treats, they can wipe out crops. Five fruits you’ll often see them munching are raspberries, crabapples, grapes, mulberries and cherries. Check out more backyard birds that eat berries.
Baltimore Orioles Are Not Actually Orioles
Another surprising Baltimore oriole fact—although given the common name “oriole,” American orioles are not actually a part of the oriole family, Oriolidae. True orioles are native to the Old World, and our American birds were named because of their resemblance to these European cousins. Orioles are in the blackbird family. Check out 10 birds that look like orioles.
Oriole Size and Wingspan
Baltimore orioles average about 8 inches long, similar in size to red-winged blackbirds, and a good 1 to 3 inches shorter than robins. Their wingspan is around 11-1/2 inches. The orchard oriole is smaller.
Male and Females Look Different
Adult male Baltimore orioles are much more brightly colored than females. Look for distinctive markings to identify them. Juvenile male orioles do not grow their full adult plumage until their second fall. Here’s how to identify baby orioles and juvenile orioles.
Baltimore Orioles Don’t Eat Birdseed
Where Do Orioles Go in Winter?
The Baltimore oriole winters in Florida and Central America. It migrates north starting in late winter, arriving in the southeast throughout April to begin mating and nesting. But some lately are staying put year-round, provided they can find enough food. Learn more about Baltimore oriole migration.