This gloriously colored bird is commonly seen in western Pennsylvania’s lowland residential areas during migration. Its tangerine and jet black breeding plumage provides a thrilling flash of color as it flits its way through the treetops.
The name “Baltimore” comes from the first governor of Maryland, Lord Baltimore. He himself was so enamored of this beautiful bird that he lent its brilliant orange and black coloration to his coat of arms.
The Baltimore oriole is fond of tall trees and is usually found high in the canopy. The museum’s banding nets are mostly located in areas of low shrubby growth. For this reason, the species usually is not banded in large numbers at the station—only three were banded in 2010. However, ripe berries on fruiting shrubs are irresistible “low-hanging fruit” that do attract orioles, and especially juveniles, into the banding nets in late summer and early fall.
Photo: Robert Royse