Every year, hundreds of bird species migrate between North and South America. Some species likely evolved from ancestors that moved north in search of new breeding habitats: the “southern home” hypothesis. But others may have extended their winter ranges south: the “northern home”
Not all blackbirds are mostly black. This Baltimore Oriole is orange! It’s named after Sir George Calvert, First Lord of Baltimore, whose coat-of-arms carried a gold and black design. In spring and summer, you may see these orioles in the Midwest and eastern US, lighting up the trees where
Sometimes populations of birds split apart - a process called speciation. Where Baltimore Orioles and Bullock’s Orioles overlap in the Great Plains they produce hybrid offspring. But these hybrids don’t live very long or spread very far. Are these two birds different species?
In summer, across much of North America, a sudden flash of orange and black in the treetops usually means one thing: orioles. Baltimore Orioles (like this one) in the East, Bullock’s Orioles in the West, and Hooded Orioles in the Southwest and California. These vividly colored birds return
The oriole’s name comes from the Latin oriolus, (or-ee-OH-lus) meaning “the golden one.” Despite their similar names, the Eurasian Golden Oriole and the Baltimore Oriole aren’t related at all. Each belongs to a family unique to its side of the Atlantic. As Europeans arrived in North
At the crack of the bat, a Blue Jay flies toward first and glides around the base. Deep in left field, an Oriole pounces on the ball. He wings the ball toward second, where a fellow Oriole snares it on a hop - just as the swift Blue Jay slides toward the base in a cloud of red dust. Ahh
John Burroughs, one of the masters of American nature writing, wrote "The birds do indeed begin with the day. The farmer who is in the field at work while he can yet see stars catches their first matin hymns. In the longest June days the robin strikes up about half past three o'clock..."