Coloring Page: Ohio Summer Residents | Baltimore Oriole

We’re giving you fun coloring activities! Some birds like to take a vacation and visit Ohio during summer. You might spot them in our state throughout the year, but the birds featured here are most prevalent during summertime.

You’ll have to look up extremely high into the treetops to spot today’s summer resident. Baltimore orioles (Icterus galbula) not only build their nests up high above the ground, but they forage in trees for food. Unlike similar fruit-eating birds, Baltimore orioles seem to prefer only ripe, dark-colored fruit. They have been observed ignoring unripe fruits.

A male Baltimore oriole gaping an orange.
A male Baltimore oriole gaping an orange. Photo courtesy flickr user Mark Nenadov/Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0).

Baltimore orioles also have a unique way of using their bills to dine on certain fruits. Baltimore orioles will sometimes eat using a method called “gaping,” where they stab their closed bill into soft fruits, particularly oranges, and then open their mouths to cut a juicy swath and use their tongues to drink the fruit.

Did you know that Baltimore orioles got their name from their bright, bold orange-and-black plumage? Male Baltimore orioles sport the same colors as the heraldic crest of England’s Baltimore family (who were the first Proprietors of the Province of Maryland and are who Maryland’s largest city is named after). It’s no wonder Baltimore orioles are the state bird of Maryland and the namesake of their baseball team!

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A male Baltimore oriole rests on a branch.
Photo courtesy flickr user Mark Moschell/Creative Commons (CC BY-NC 2.0)