• WildlifeWildlife WatchingVermont Bird Records CommitteeBaltimore Oriole

    Vermont Rare Bird Reports 2019

    Common NameBaltimore Oriole
    Scientific NameIcterus galbula
    Type of ReportOut-of-Season
    Date of Observation01/15/2019
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    Number Observed2 (this report: 1 adult male)
    Reporting Observer's NameKenneth Cox
    Mailing Address28 North Puckerbrush Road
    South Reading, VT 05153
    United States
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    EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
    Date Completed01/21/2019
    Names & Emails of Other Contributing Observers

    Cathryn Abbott

    Latitude of Observation42.872983
    Longitude of Observation72.57145
    Place NameKenyon Residence, 175 Upper Dummerston Road
    Time of Day09:08 AM
    Length of Time Observed1 hour
    Maximum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)180
    Minimum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)70
    Noteworthy Weather Conditions

    Partly cloudy, cold, no precipitation. Good conditions for observing birds.

    Optical Equipment Used for Observation

    Bins (Cox): Swarovski 8.5X42 Swarovision

    Observer’s Previous Acquaintance With This or Similar Species

    This is a common species in Vermont from May through September and frequently encountered in suitable habitat. As such the species is very familiar to this observer. I have been an avid birder since the early 1970s. Other similar species with which I have experience are Bullock's Oriole (I. bullockii) and Orchard Oriole (I. spurius).

    I certify that that attachments included with this report were captured during this observation event​​.
    Description of Habitat

    Bird has been visiting feeders at the Kenyon property since at least the Brattleboro Christmas Bird Count (December 15, 2018). Feeders offer the usual seed types, suet and meal worms. The property is nicely landscaped with numerous deciduous and coniferous trees and shrubs of diverse age classes/sizes, perennials, vines, etc.

    Behaviors Observed

    During our viewing time the adult male was not seen at feeders but limited its activities to the crowns of the tall deciduous trees (Acer sp.?) located behind the Kenyon residence and next to VT Route 30.

    Description of Vocalizations

    None heard.

    Verbal Narrative & Description of Observation

    This bird was present throughout most of the one hour time interval that Cat Abbott and I were on location. Being the bird remained in the upper heights of deciduous trees during this time, it was clearly visible with binoculars. However, our angle of view was mostly from below limiting extensive observation of the bird's upper parts. Numerous photos were taken of which a couple are included in this report. In addition to this bird there was a second Baltimore Oriole. Sex and age of this bird is uncertain but believed to be either a first year male or female. Details of this bird are submitted in a separate RSD.

    Relative Size & Shape

    Bird was similar in size and shape to a Red-winged Blackbird.


    Head was completely black hooded including throat and nape. Black throat tapered to a point on orange upper breast. Eye was dark (black).

    Feet & Bill

    Gray bill of moderate length tapered to a point. Feet were not clearly visible.

    Upper Back

    Black with no discernible markings.

    Lower Back & Rump

    Lower back was orange. Rump was not seen from observers vantage point and hidden under bird's folded wings.


    Wings black with white tertial and secondary feather edges, white median wing bar, and pale orange lesser wing coverts.

    Breast, Belly, Flanks, Under Tail Coverts

    Entirely orange.


    From limited view of observer's vantage point the upper side of tail appeared dark (black), but pale orange underside of tail was clearly visible.

    IMPORTANT: What similar species were eliminated when making the identification and how was this bird different?

    Subject bird lacked orange superciliary, cheeks and ear coverts of adult male Bullock's Oriole, as well as latter species extensive white wing patches. Orchard Oriole was eliminated on basis of the subject bird being bright orange rather than dark reddish brown.

    Other Notes & Comments

    Bird was identified as an adult male on basis of plumage characteristics.

    This report was written from notes taken:Immediately After