5 Facts About the Baltimore Oriole
We all know the baseball team named for a local bird, but how well do you know the bird itself? There's a lot to learn about these striking songbirds, and we've got a few fun facts about them right here!
1. Their bold colors are fit for nobles
The early settlers of Maryland noticed the bright colors on these birds and linked that to the colors of Lord Baltimore's coat of arms -- the very same ones that are now on the flag of the state of Maryland, which Lord Baltimore presided over.
2. Those colors change over time
Young Baltimore orioles aren't so showy. Their plumage is a bit more dull, but when males reach adulthood, they gain those spectacular orange, black, and white colors. Females also become more colorful with age. So if you think you're too old to dye your hair bright colors, take it from the oriole -- go for it!
3. There are lots of other kinds of orioles
Baltimore orioles aren't the only black and orange birds out there. Orchard orioles, hooded orioles, and spot-breasted orioles also wear the colors that we associate with baseball here in Baltimore! Baltimore orioles can be recognized by the black head and orange body of the males, as well as the white stripes across their black wings.
4. These birds face threats from other creatures (and people)
Dutch elm disease is one of the biggest problems facing the beloved Baltimore oriole! This illness kills the kinds of trees that they particularly enjoy nesting in, and humans tearing down woodland for development don't make it any easier for the orioles to find a place to live. They're also hunted by birds of prey and outdoor cats.
5. You can attract orioles to your own yard!
Wish you could see more orioles up close? Invite them over for dinner! Orioles love dark, juicy fruits. Cut up cherries, grapes, and berries, or put sugar water or jelly out for them to snack on.