Oriol de Baltimore/Baltimore Oriole/Icterus galbula

Nombre en español: Oriol de Baltimore

Nombre en ingles: Baltimore Oriole

Nombre científico: Icterus galbula

Familia: Icteridae

Foto: Mauricio Ossa/Wilmer Quiceno/Luis G Restrepo/Maria Fernanda Gauna

Canto: Christopher McPherson

La oropéndola de Baltimoreturpial de Baltimorecalandria de Baltimore o bolsero de Baltimore (Icterus galbula), es una pequeña especie de ave paseriforme de la familia Icteridae. En promedio mide 18 cm de longitud y pesa 34 g. Esta ave recibe su nombre vulgar debido a que los colores del macho son similares a los colores que ostenta el escudo de Lord Baltimore. Antiguamente se consideraba que esta especie e Icterus bullockii eran una misma especie.

Su cola es relativamente corta. La parte alta de su mandíbula es recta. Los adultos poseen un pico en punta y franjas blancas en sus alas. El macho adulto es color anaranjado en su zona inferior, hombros y rump. Todo el resto del cuerpo del macho es negro. La hembra adulta posee su zona inferior de color amarillo-marrón; en las partes superiores con alas oscuras, y pleno anaranjado en pecho y cogote.

El macho entona un silbido fuerte y aflautado, el cual permite ubicar la posición del ave mucho antes de haerla podido avistar.

Es una especie migratoria que durante el invierno se asienta en América Central y Norte de América del Sur. Durante su emigración se le puede ver en grandes bandadas. Se reproduce en la zona este de los Estados Unidos y pasa el invierno en el hemisferio norte, desde México hasta el norte de Sudamérica.

Prefiere los bosques húmedos y semihúmedos, o en proximidades a los mismos.

Tamaño y forma

Mide entre 18 y 22 cm. Su peso promedio es de 34.3 g en machos y 33.2 g en hembras. Macho con cabeza, cuello, parte alta de la espalda y plumas centrales de la cola color negro. Rabadilla, bordes laterales de las plumas externas de la cola, hombros, pecho y abdomen, naranja brillante. Una amplia barra alar blanca en la punta de las alas (primarias). Hembra con espalda pardo oliva grisáceo, estriado de café, con tintes naranja claro en la cabeza. Abdomen naranja amarillento opaco un poco más brillante en el pecho. Alas negras con dos barras delgadas de color blanco en la punta de las alas. Los juveniles tienen un plumaje similar a la hembra, pero la cabeza y parte superior usualmente oliva con tinte naranja, garganta y partes inferiores amarillo naranja brillante y flancos oliva.

Especies similares

El macho es el único turpial colombiano con cabeza, cuello y alta espalda enteramente negros. La mayoría de los demás turpiales colombianos son principalmente de color amarillo y negro. La hembra de esta especie se distingue de otras del género por sus barras alares blancas y tinte naranja en el pecho. La hembra del Turpial Hortelano (Icterus spurius) es más verde por encima, más verde amarillo debajo y no tiene naranja.

Distribución

En Colombia se distribuye desde límites con Panamá hacia el oriente hasta la Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Serranía del Perijá y región del Catatumbo. En los valles interandinos de los ríos Cauca y Magdalena, al sur hasta los departamentos de Valle del Cauca y Tolima. En la cordillera Oriental hasta el piedemonte llanero. Anida en el sur de Canadá, este y centro de Estados Unidos, pasa el invierno principalmente en Florida, costa de California, Cuba, Jamaica, México y Venezuela. Altitudinalmente se puede encontrar por debajo de 2000 m sobre el nivel del mar.

Habitat

En las áreas de reproducción habita en bordes de bosque, parques y jardines. En las zonas de invierno ocupa una amplia variedad de hábitats como bosque húmedo, arboles florecidos en sabanas, plantaciones de café y cacao,  jardines y áreas arboladas en centros urbanos.

Alimentación

Se alimentan de artrópodos, principalmente lepidópteros, coleópteros, hemípteros y arañas. Su dieta también incluye néctar y frutos como moras, cerezas, uvas y guisantes.  En las zonas de invierno puede consumir frutos como bananas, tomates, naranjas y frutos de Cecropia sp..

Reproducción

Son monógamos, aunque la evidencia sugiere que la cópula fuera de la pareja es bastante común. En la primavera, los machos se exhiben a las hembras en sus territorios mediante el canto mientras van saltando de rama en rama delante de éstas.  El nido es una bolsa de 15-20 cm  de largo y 8-9 cm de ancho, la construcción está a cargo de la hembra, quien lo teje utilizando fibras de plantas tales como hierbas y tallos. En la parte interior utiliza materiales suaves como semillas plumosas y plumas. El nido cuelga sobre ramas altas a una altura de 5 a 22 m. Ponen entre 3 y 7 huevos por nidada, los huevos son de color gris pálido con manchas marrón oscuro y son de aproximadamente  23.2 mm de largo y 16 mm de ancho. Solo la hembra incuba durante un periodo de 12 días, tiempo en el cual eclosionan los polluelos. Los polluelos permanecen en el nido durante 12-14 días y son alimentados tanto por la hembra como por el macho. 

Comportamiento

Es usualmente solitario. Obtiene su alimento utilizando maniobras acrobáticas, por ejemplo  trepando a través de las ramas, colgando boca abajo, aleteando para ampliar su alcance y también vuela desde la percha para capturar insectos en el aire. Defienden activamente las áreas cercanas a sus nidos. Esta ave rara vez canta en área invernada.

Taxonomía

Análisis de ADN indican que su especie hermana es Icterus bullockii, con la cual hibridizan ampliamente  en el sur de Canadá y Estados Unidos.

Curiosidades

Tambien llamado Oropéndola de Baltimore.

Es el símbolo del equipo de Baseball Orioles de Baltimore.

Baltimore oriole

The Baltimore oriole (Icterus galbula) is a small icterid blackbird common in eastern North America as a migratory breeding bird. It received its name from the resemblance of the male’s colors to those on the coat-of-arms of Lord Baltimore. Observations of interbreeding between the Baltimore oriole and the western Bullock’s oriole, Icterus bullockii, led to both being classified as a single species, called the northern oriole, from 1973 to 1995. Research by James Rising, a professor of zoology at the University of Toronto, and others showed that the two birds actually did not interbreed significantly.

The Baltimore oriole is the state bird of Maryland. It is also the inspiration for the Baltimore Orioles baseball team.

Etymology

Like all New World orioles, this species is named after an unrelated, physically similar family found in the Old World: the Oriolidae. “Oriole” ultimately derives from Latin aureolus, “golden”. The genus name Icterus is from Ancient Greek ikteros, a yellow bird, usually taken to be the Eurasian golden oriole, the sight of which was thought to cure jaundice. The specific galbula is the Latin name for a yellow bird, again usually assumed to be the golden oriole.

Description

This medium-sized passerine measures 17–22 cm (6.7–8.7 in) in length and spans 23–32 cm (9.1–12.6 in) across the wings. Their build is typical of icterids, as they have a sturdy body, a longish tail, fairly long legs and a thick, pointed bill. The body weight averages 33.8 g (1.19 oz), with a range of weights from 22.3 to 42 g (0.79 to 1.48 oz). The male oriole is slightly larger than the female, although the size dimorphism is minimal by icterid standards. Adults always have white bars on the wings. The adult male is orange on the underparts shoulder patch and rump, with some birds appearing a very deep flaming orange and others appearing yellowish-orange. All of the rest of the male’s plumage is black. The adult female is yellow-brown on the upper parts with darker wings, and dull orange-yellow on the breast and belly. The juvenile oriole is similar-looking to the female, with males taking until the fall of their second year to reach adult plumage.

Distribution and habitat

Baltimore orioles are found in the Nearctic in summer, including the Canadian Prairies and eastern Montana in the northwest eastward through southern Ontario, southern Quebec and New Brunswick and south through the eastern United States to central Mississippi and Alabama and northern Georgia. They migrate to winter in the Neotropics as far north as Mexico and sometimes the southern coast of the United States, but predominantly in Central America and northern South America. Some areas of the southern United States may retain orioles all winter if they have feeders that appeal to them. The range of this bird overlaps with that of the similar Bullock’s oriole in the Midwest, and the two species were once considered to be conspecific under the name northern oriole because they form fertile hybrids. The Baltimore oriole is a rare vagrant to Western Europe.

Baltimore orioles are often found high up in large, leafy deciduous trees, but do not generally reside in deep forests. The species has been found in summer and migration in open woodland, forest edge, and partially wooded wetlands or stands of trees along rivers. They are very adaptable and can breed in a variety of secondary habitats. In recent times, they are often found in orchards, farmland, urban parks and suburban landscapes as long as they retain woodlots. In Mexico, they winter in flowering canopy trees, often over shade coffee plantations.

Behavior

Voice

The male sings a loud flutey whistle, with a buzzy, bold quality, a familiar sound in much of the eastern United States. The male typically sings from the tree canopy, often giving away its location before being sighted.

Breeding

Baltimore orioles are basically solitary outside their mating season. The species is generally considered monogamous, although evidence suggests that extra-pair copulation is reasonably common. In the spring, males establish a territory then display to females by singing and chattering while hopping from perch to perch in front of them. Males also give a bow display, bowing with wings lowered and tail fanned. Depending on their receptiveness, the females may ignore these displays or sing and give calls or a wing-quiver display in response. The wing-quiver display involves leaning forward, often with tail partly fanned, and fluttering or quivering slightly lowered wings.

The Baltimore oriole’s nest is built by the female. It is a tightly woven pouch located on the end of a branch, consisting of any plant or animal materials available, hanging down on the underside. Trees such as elms, cottonwoods, maples, willows or apples are regularly selected, with the nest usually located around 7 to 9 m (23 to 30 ft) above the ground. The female lays three to seven eggs, with the norm being around four. The eggs are pale gray to bluish white, measuring 2.3 cm × 1.6 cm (0.91 in × 0.63 in) on average. The incubation period is 12 to 14 days. Once the nestlings hatch, they are fed by regurgitation by both parents and brooded by the female for two weeks. After this the young start to fledge, becoming largely independent shortly thereafter. If the eggs, young, or nest are destroyed, the oriole is unable to lay a replacement clutch.

Mortality

Predation is a common source of mortality, typically also occurring with eggs, nestlings and fledglings. Common predators at Baltimore oriole nests can include common grackles, American crows, blue jays, black-billed magpies, tree squirrels and domestic cats, which most commonly capture newly fledged orioles or adults engaged in brooding behavior. Rapacious birds commonly prey on both young and fully-grown orioles, the most prolific being the eastern screech owl and Cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawks. Somewhat larger rapacious birds also sometimes opportunistically prey on the oriole, including peregrine falcons, great horned owls, and barn owls, while merlins may do so while orioles are migrating.

The record lifespan for a wild bird was 12 years and 0 months (based on a banded bird killed by a peregrine falcon), with captive orioles living up to 14 years.

Feeding

Baltimore orioles forage in trees and shrubs, also making short flights to catch insects. They acrobatically clamber, hover and hang among foliage as they comb high branches. They mainly eat insects, berries and nectar, and are often seen sipping at hummingbird feeders. Their favored prey is perhaps the forest tent caterpillar moth, which they typically eat in their larval stage, and can be a nuisance species if not naturally regulated by predation. The larvae caterpillar are beaten against a branch until their protective hairs are skinned off before being eaten. Unlike American robins and many other fruit-eating birds, Baltimore orioles seem to prefer only ripe, dark-colored fruit. Orioles seek out the darkest mulberries, the reddest cherries, and the deepest-purple grapes, and will ignore green grapes and yellow cherries even if they are ripe. Baltimore orioles sometimes use their bills in an unusual way, called “gaping”: they stab the closed bill into soft fruits, then open their mouths to cut a juicy swath from which they drink with their tongues. During spring and fall, nectar, fruit and other sugary foods are readily converted into fat, which supplies energy for migration.

Many people now attract Baltimore orioles to their backyards with oriole feeders. Such feeders contain essentially the same food as hummingbird feeders, but are designed for orioles, and are orange instead of red and have larger perches. Baltimore orioles are also fond of halved oranges, grape jelly and, in their winter quarters, the red arils of gumbo-limbo (Bursera simaruba). If they discover a well-kept feeder, orioles lead their young there.

Wikipedia/eBird/xeno-canto/WikiAves/Neotropical Birds

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