jerry jackson
Photographed by Bette Jackson

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Source: Blackbirds 2

Length of Segment: 00:01:15

Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. The Baltimore oriole is well known because of the striking black and orange plumage of males, and its sack-like nests woven of grasses and suspended from the tips of branches of tall trees that line city streets. The name 'Baltimore oriole' comes from the official colors of the second British Lord Baltimore, Cecil Calvert, who inherited property in Maryland from his father, and for whom the city there is named. The name 'oriole' comes from a familiar yellow bird native to Eurasia, and to which early naturalists thought our oriole was related. We now know that ours is not a true oriole. The Baltimore oriole is a member of an American family of birds, the New World blackbirds that include such other birds as our red-winged blackbird and boat-tailed grackle. A few years ago, scientists realized that the Bullock's oriole of western North America sometimes interbred with Baltimore oriole, and they renamed the combined orioles with the unimaginative name 'northern oriole'. With further information suggesting that the interbreeding does not result in blending of the characteristics of the two forms, the name 'Baltimore oriole' has been restored to our orange and yellow bird.

'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.

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