Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Least Concern

Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)


French: Oriole de Baltimore German: Baltimoretrupial Spanish: Turpial de Baltimore

C[oracias]. Galbula


, 1758,

America = Virginia, USA


DNA data indicate that this is sister-species to I. abeillei. Formerly treated as conspecific with latter and I. bullockiorum; hybridizes extensively with I. bullockiorum in a belt from S Canada (Alberta and Saskatchewan) S in Great Plains to S USA (Oklahoma and Texas), but assortative mating (or selection against hybrids) evident at several locations. Monotypic.


S Canada from NE British Columbia and Alberta E to S Ontario, S Quebec and Nova Scotia, S in C & E USA to N Texas, C Mississippi, NW Georgia, W Virginia and N Delaware; winters mostly in Florida, coastal California (rare), Cuba and Jamaica, and Mexico S to N Colombia and Venezuela.

Descriptive notes

18–22 cm; male average 34·3 g, female average 33·2 g. Male has head to upper back and to throat and upper breast black, lower back to uppertail-coverts... read more


Song relatively short, a series of pleasing flute-like whistles, usually no more than 10 notes in... read more


Woodland edges, large clearings, orchards, parks and gardens; in non-breeding range found in wider... read more

Food and feeding

Arthropods, and various plant items. Arthropods include insects, mainly Lepidoptera and their larvae (caterpillars), beetles (Coleoptera)... read more


Season May–Jun; single-brooded. Monogamous; extra-pair copulations reported, but apparently rare. Solitary, nearest-neighbour... read more


Migratory. Leaves breeding grounds from Jul. Main migration route down Atlantic slope of Mexico.... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common to locally common; common in N & C parts of non-breeding range. Estimated global population 6,000,000 individuals. Able to live in... read more

Recommended citation

Fraga, R. (2020). Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 28 January 2020).