December 2023

Vol. 51, No. 6`

Field Note: The History of Two Baltimore Oriole Songs

Peter W. Oehlkers


Figure 1. BAOR01 (left) and BAOR02 (right). Images traced from original spectrograms.

On May 4, 2022, I observed and recorded a long, intense bout of counter-singing between two male Baltimore Orioles at the Charles River Peninsula in Needham, Massachusetts. They sang similar songs—the first five notes of each were virtually identical (see Figure 1). One song (BAOR01) sounded familiar to me; I assumed that the second song (BAOR02) was a partial copy of it. Previous studies of Baltimore Orioles (Beletsky 1982) have shown that males on adjacent territories sometimes share songs so this in itself is not surprising.

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