Baltimore Orioles stand out with their bright orange plumage and their beautiful bird song. They winter in the tropics and during this time you are not likely to hear them sing like you do during their summer migration.
Where can you hear them?
You’re most likely to see and hear them in North America during the summer. They prefer areas of open woodland which are close to water. They prefer the shade of trees but do not inhabit dense forests or woodlands.
What they sound like
As with all birds they have a different sound for different occasions.
Their birdsong is a rich, flowing, clear whistle and males and females sound slightly different.
The male bird repeats a series of paired notes which each last a couple of seconds. Each pair of notes is repeated between 2 and 7 times in quick succession. If you hear a male oriole he is either setting up a breeding ground or defending it, so you will only hear their call during the summer.
Click play below to hear a baltimore oriole!
The female bird usually sings to reply to her mate and her call is shorter than the male.
If you’re lucky, you will hear them replying to each other in a form of duet.
If an Oriole feels their territory is under threat, they will defend it and when they do this both male and female birds will make short, sharp, aggressive noises.
They also have a form of alarm call which other orioles close by will answer and go to help the orioles defend their territory. This is a chuck call which is repeated until help comes.
- Defending the nest
While the female orioles are with the nest, they can often come under attack by predators. If this happens the female will let out a strong scream to ward off the attacker.
Fledglings and young orioles make a repetitive sound which is quite dull and flat when compared to the adult birds.