Category Archives: Friends of Miles

Baltimore Oriole: Dr. J. Murray Speirs

I always look forward to the arrival of the orioles when the fruit trees are in blossom in early May: their bright colours and lively songs add to this glad season.

Baltimore Oriole (male)

In summer they weave their pendant nests in the outmost twigs of drooping branches of such trees as elms and weeping willows: the male often sings nearby as the female incubates in her twine bag of a nest.

Baltimore Orioles constructing nest
Baltimore Oriole (male)

When the young leave the nest, their incessant food calls help the parents to find them, well hidden in dense foliage, high in the canopy.

Baltimore Oriole chick

They migrate early and few are to be found in Ontario after early September.

Baltimore Oriole (male)

They winter mainly in Central America and northern South America.

Baltimore Oriole

Males are bright orange, with black head and upper back and black central tail feathers: the black wings have white flashes.

Baltimore Oriole (male)

Females are dull versions of the male, with the black reduced to spots or steaks.

Baltimore Oriole (female)
Baltimore Oriole (female)

The song is a rich, whistled “too-hee-tew-tew-tew” (varying somewhat from bird to bird): they will often come to a whistled version of the final drooping “tew-tew-tew”.

Baltimore Oriole (male)

They often utter a scolding lip-smacking sputter

Baltimore Oriole (male)

Dr. J. Murray Speirs