NY Oriole – a load of Bullock’s or what?

These great shots of an oriole were taken in Central Park, New York by David Speiser last week. The bird’s identity had been discussed as to whether it was a Bullock’s or Baltimore.

Birds that look like this, in early winter, often throw up that same question. Bullock’s Oriole is a likely vagrant to New England. So if you were faced with this bird in the field, what features would you look for on a putative Bullock’s Oriole that would help eliminate a late Baltimore?

What do you think?  Is it all just a load of Bullock’s?

A solution to follow, but in the meantime, have a go and send in comments!

Oriole, Central Park, NY, December 2011 (David Speiser)

Oriole, Central Park, NY, December 2011 (David Speiser)


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3 Responses to “NY Oriole – a load of Bullock’s or what?”

  1. Robert Proniewych Says:

    The bird is a Baltimore Oriole reason being the rump is a yellowish orange if it were a Bullock’s Oriole the rump would be gray. Also female and immature Bullock’s would have a washed out version of the male’s black eye stripe and the upper eye stripe which would be a pale orange or yellow color.

  2. chasecammarota Says:

    i believe this bird may be a hybrid based on the median coverts coloration of the head and neck. The tail feathers look beat up and I think Baltimore molts in summer, leaving me to believe that it is a baltimore but alot about the appearance points me to bullocks.

  3. Tom Auer Says:

    My vote is for Baltimore. Orange-colored rump, a rather brownish mantle, complete lack of any sort of eye line. It would be a little easier with a profile shot of the wing, but it looks like the white edging on the greater coverts is less extensive than it should be for a Bullock’s.

    Sibley and Nat Geo conflict over head color. This one has a pretty orange head, which according to Sibley would make it a Bullock’s. But Nat Geo doesn’t really make that distinction.

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