Total Pageviews

Jun 3, 2017

Sorting out the orioles...

 Photo by Julia Flanagan
Baltimore Oriole

 Photo by Kevin Cole
Bullock's Oriole

Abeille's Oriole
Photos by jontyhiley

Let's see if I can get this right.   The Baltimore Oriole is found in eastern North America (southern Canada to northern Georgia, Northern Louisiana and southern Texas).   The Bullock's Oriole breeds in western North America.   The Abeille's Oriole is endemic to central Mexico.   The Baltimore and Bullock's Orioles merged on the central plains of Saskatchewan to central Texas.   These two species bred together and had fertile hybrids.   It was decided to combine both into one species: the Northern Oriole.   However, a preference for selecting mates from their previous designations, plus physical differences (appearance and sound), confirmed by DNA studies, led to the Northern Oriole being split back into Baltimore and Bullock's species.   Meanwhile the Abeille's Orioles were historically lumped together with the Bullock's Orioles.   It has however been recently split from the Bullock's and is known again as the Abeille's Oriole...or the Black-backed Oriole.
Please comment if you wish.

1 comment:

zz said...

This IS complicated. Glad we do not have to pass a test after having read this. :-)