Bullock's OrioleIcterus bullockii

adult male
Greg Lasley/VIREO
adult female
Bob Steele/VIREO
adult male
Robert A.
immature male (1st yr)
Brian E. Small/VIREO
Bullock's Oriole
Bullock's Oriole

Description

7-8 1/2" (18-22 cm). Male crown, eye line, throat stripe, back, wings, and central tail black; large white wing patch; much of head, eyebrow, underparts, and outer tail feathers orange. Female olive above; 2 white wing bars; chest pale orange; belly white. Bill slender, pointed; tail rounded.

Voice

Clear and flute-like whistled single or double notes in short, distinct phrases with much individual variation. Also a rapid chatter.

Listen

song & chatter
song #1
whistles & other calls
song #2
chatter call
extended song

Habitat

Deciduous woodlands, shade trees, riparian woodlands, parks, towns, to 8,000' elevation.

Range

Breeds from British Columbia and southern Alberta south to southern California and Mexico and east to the Dakotas and Texas. Winters in tropics.

Discussion

Recently the Bullock's Oriole was combined with the eastern Baltimore Oriole as a single species, the Northern Oriole. When trees were planted on the Great Plains, the two forms extended their ranges and met. Despite the differences in their appearance, it was found that they interbred, and that most birds in the central plains were hybrids, so the birds were combined into a single species. Now, it seems that in some places the birds are choosing mates of their own type, and they are considered separate species again.

Nesting

4-6 grayish eggs, spotted and scrawled with dark brown and black. Nest a well-woven pendant bag of plant fibers, bark, and string, suspended from the tip of a branch.

Similar Species

adult male

Baltimore Oriole

7-8 1/2" (18-22 cm). Male has black head, back, wings, and tail; orange breast, rump, and shoulder patch. Female olive-brown, with dull yellow-orange underparts and two dull white wing bars.

adult male

Streak-backed Oriole

7 1/2-9" (19-23 cm). Similar to Hooded Oriole, in whose range it may occur.

Vireo

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