This time around, we’re going to look at three similar pairs of birds that can be encountered in the Baltimore area.  The first pair will be the classic Baltimore Oriole and its cousin, the Orchard Oriole.  These two birds are often found in the same areas, nesting in similar kinds of habitats.  The males are fairly easy to tell apart by sight – Baltimore Orioles are a bright yellow/orange,

while Orchard Orioles are a darker brick-red/orange.  Both have a black hood and a colored stripe at the shoulder of the heavily wing-barred wing.

The females are tougher – both are yellower, but the Baltimore females are a darker, orangey color,

while the Orchard females are a lighter yellow. Both have the long, slightly curved bill of Icterids and apart from the strong wingbars are very plain birds.

The songs are quite different, though.  Baltimores have a song of clear, slurred whistles, while Orchards have a more warbly, but still Oriolish-sounding, song that reminds me of a cross between a Robin and a Bobolink.