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How the Oriole Got Its Name

Though some birds have similar names, they may not be related at all!
© Hoan Luong View Large

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 America, they often renamed the birds they saw after the ones they remembered from back home.

Today's show brought to you by the Bobolink Foundation.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

How the Oriole Got Its Name

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.

As Europeans arrived in North America, they often renamed the birds they saw after the ones they remembered from back home. Robins, redstarts, warblers—and even orioles.

[Baltimore Oriole Song]

The first oriole that Europeans likely encountered is the one we know today as the Baltimore Oriole—a flashy orange and black bird a little bit smaller than an American Robin.

It would have reminded the newcomers of the oriole they knew, a slightly bigger bird feathered in yellow and black, the Eurasian Golden Oriole.

[Golden Oriole Song]

Eurasian Golden Orioles are shy and often hard to spot, hidden in the treetops. So even though they are incredibly beautiful, they are best known for their rich, melodic song.

The oriole’s name comes from the Latin oriolus, (or-ee-OH-lus) meaning “the golden one.” But despite their similar names, the Golden Oriole and the Baltimore Oriole aren’t related at all. Each belongs to a family unique to its side of the Atlantic.

[Baltimore Oriole]

For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.

###

Producer: John Kessler

Managing Producer: Jason Saul

Editor: Ashley Ahearn

Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone

Assistant Producer: Mark Bramhill

Narrator: Mary McCann

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Baltimore Oriole XC 217799 recorded by P Marvin; Eurasian Golden Oriole XC 433481 by L Thiess.

BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.

© 2019 BirdNote   June 2019

ID#     oriole-02-2019-06-11  oriole-02       

References: https://www.arkive.org/eurasian-golden-oriole/oriolus-oriolus/
https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/103692938/111783061#habitat-ecology
http://www.planetofbirds.com/passeriformes-oriolidae-golden-oriole-oriol...

Link to BBC 1:45 minute show on Golden Oriole
https://aod-pod-ww-live.akamaized.net/mpg_mp3_med/podcast_migrated/p02qh...

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide//lifehistory

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