The Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula is an icterid blackbird that commonly occurs in eastern North America as a migratory breeding bird. This bird received its name from the fact that the male's colors resemble those on the coat-of-arms of Lord Baltimore. Like all icterids called "orioles", it is named after an unrelated, physically similar family found in the Old World: the Oriolidae. At one time, this species and the Bullock's Oriole, Icterus bullockii, were considered to be a single species called the Northern Oriole.
Adults always have white bars on the wings. The adult male is orange on the underparts shoulder patch and rump, with some birds appearing a very deep flaming orange and others appearing yellowish-orange. All of the rest of the male's plumage is black. The adult female is yellow-brown on the upper parts with darker wings, and dull orange-yellow on the breast and belly.
Baltimore Orioles are often found high up in large, leafy deciduous trees, but do not generally reside in deep forests. The species has been found in summer and migration in open woodland, forest edge, and partially wooded wetlands or stands of trees along rivers. They are very adaptable and can breed in a variety of secondary habitats. In recent times, they are often found in orchards, farmland, urban parks and suburban landscapes as long as they retain woodlots.
Baltimore Orioles are basically solitary outside their mating season. This species is generally considered monogamous, although evidence suggests that extra-pair copulation is reasonably common. In the spring, males establish a territory and then display to females by singing and chattering while hopping from perch to perch in front of her. Males also give a bow display, bowing with wings lowered and tail fanned. Depending on her receptiveness, the females may ignore these displays or sing and give calls or a wing-quiver display in response. The wing-quiver display involves leaning forward, often with tail partly fanned, and fluttering or quivering slightly lowered wings.
Many people now attract Baltimore Orioles to their backyards with oriole feeders. Oriole feeders contain essentially the same food as hummingbird feeders, but are designed for orioles, and are orange instead of red and have larger perches. Baltimore Orioles are also fond of halved oranges, grape jelly.
The Baltimore Oriole is the state bird of Maryland. It also the inspiration for the major league baseball team the Baltimore Orioles.