Bullock's Oriole - Icterus bullockii

 Bullock's Oriole

Family: Icteridae, Blackbirds and Orioles view all from this family  

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

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

Bullock's Oriole Range Map

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

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.