Icterus Galbula - Baltimore Oriole | Montauk, New York

© Sophie W. Smith

Joined October 2012

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Artist's Description

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Icteridae
Genus: Icterus
Species: I. galbula
Binomial name
Icterus galbula

The Baltimore oriole (Icterus galbula) is a small icterid blackbird common in eastern North America as a migratory breeding bird. It received its name from the resemblance of the male’s colors to those on the coat-of-arms of Lord Baltimore. Like all New World orioles, it is named after an unrelated, physically similar family found in the Old World: the Oriolidae. Observations of interbreeding between the Baltimore oriole and the western Bullock’s oriole, Icterus bullockii, led to both being classified as a single species, called the northern oriole, from 1973-1995. Research by James Rising, a professor of zoology at the University of Toronto, and others showed that the two birds actually did not interbreed significantly.

The Baltimore oriole is the state bird of Maryland. It is also the inspiration for the Baltimore Orioles baseball club. Read more

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