Friday, March 25, 2016

Baltimore Oriole

Male Baltimore Orioles don’t molt into their bright plumage until their second  breeding year.  Males in their first year look like females, but can attract mates and successfully breed (Rising and Flood 1998).

Last summer, this Baltimore Oriole fed at a jelly-filled feeder at our Dundas banding station.  Mark Catesby described the Baltimore Oriole in 1731, naming the bird for the founders (whose colors were black and orange) of the Maryland colony. In 1758, Linnaeus named it the Small Yellowish Jackdaw, thinking orioles are closely related to crows. Later the name was changed to Oriole, on the assumption that the birds were similar to Old World orioles. Today ornithologists classify our orioles as blackbirds.

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