Baltimore oriole

Baltimore oriole
Icterus galbula

Photo by Henry Domke (Health Care Fine Art)

Common name:
Baltimore oriole (en); corrupião-de-Baltimore (pt); oriole de Baltimore (fr); turpial de Baltimore (es); Baltimoretrupial (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Icteridae

This species breeds throughout the eastern United States, south-eastern Canada and north-eastern Mexico, and migrate south to winter in Florida, from Mexico to western Colombia and northern Venezuela and throughout the Caribbean.

These birds are 17-20 cm long and have a wingspan of 23-30 cm. They weigh 30-40 g.

The Baltimore oriole breeds in open deciduous forests, forest edges, rural areas and urban parks. Outside the breeding season they also use grasslands and tropical moist forests.

They mainly eat insects and other invertebrates, berries and nectar, especially caterpillars,
beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, moths, and flies, spiders, snails, mulberries, cherries and grapes.

Baltimore orioles are mostly monogamous, although extra-pair paternity is known to happen. They breed in May-June and nest on a tightly woven pouch located on the end of a branch, which the female builds using any any plant or animal materials available. It is usually placed 7-9 m above the ground. The female lays 3-7 pale greyish or bluish white eggs with brown and black blotches and streaks. She incubates the eggs alone for 11-14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 11-14 days after hatching, becoming independent shortly after.

IUCN status -LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population estimated at 6 million individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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