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. Like all New World orioles, it is named after an unrelated, physically similar family found in the Old World: the Oriolidae. 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 1973-1995. 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.
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May 14th, 2016
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