Saturday, June 19, 2010

Belize Birds of the Week #7 and #8 – Baltimore Oriole and Orchard Oriole

I had always thought that the Baltimore Oriole was named after the city of Baltimore in Maryland. Well, I was wrong. It turns out that both the bird and the city were named after Lord Baltimore, Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore (Ballimore), who, following through on his father’s intentions, founded the state of Maryland. The Baltimore Oriole was first described in1731 by Mark Catesby in his Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands. Catesby named this bird the “Baltimore-Bird,” because black and orange were the colors of the Baltimores.

The Baltimore Oriole winters in Belize, southern Mexico, and other Central American countries. It migrates to the eastern United States where it breeds in summer. I’m not sure if Baltimore Orioles are seen around our place in Englishtown Belize all winter long, or if they were just migrating through while we were there in April. They seem to like the sea grapes as much as the Golden-Fronted Woodpeckers do.  :-)


Orchard Orioles look very similar to Baltimore Orioles, except with dark chestnut instead of bright orange. They are also a little smaller than are the Baltimore Orioles. They spend a very short breeding season in the north, returning to Mexico and Central America as early as July. I saw only one Orchard Oriole during the 2 weeks we were in Belize, and the photos are not very good. But they are good enough for an ID!

9 comments:

  1. They are beauties. Great photographs Wilma.
    Costas

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  2. Wow awesome and splendid! What a beautiful bird and what a nice set of pictures you got!

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  3. She's a beauty, great colours.

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  4. They are so beautiful, and great photos! One of my favorite things to do in Belize is birding in Orange walk.

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  5. What beauties, I do love colourful birds and this is certainly that! The Black Cowled Oriole is lovely too but this has to be my favourite, such a lovely rich orange.

    The Golden Fronted Woodpecker is striking too but as you say, it is difficult to see where the golden bit comes in :)

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  6. They were at the front of the queue for their outrageous colours Wilma. Just stunning.

    I always thought that the Baltimore Oriole was named after the city of Baltimore too. lol

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  7. Costas, Chris, Madi, Shelly, ShySongbird, and Keith - thank you all for your comments. Although photographing the birds is its own reward, sharing my enjoyment with you adds to my pleasure.

    cheers,
    Wilma

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  8. Thanks to Shelly from Belize Travel Deals (http://belizetraveldealsinfo.com) for linking to this blog. I appreciate it!

    cheers,
    Wilma

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  9. hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day! http://kantahanan.blogspot.com/

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