A very cute Baltimore OrioleThis week finds me traveling across the country for work. The birding was uninspiring at my Orange County, CA hotel, and I don’t expect much better from my opulent accommodations here on the Baltimore Inner Harbor. That’s not to say that I haven’t learned anything about Maryland birds, because I’ve picked up quite a bit from my hotel’s travel magazine.

You probably knew that the Baltimore Oriole is the state bird of Maryland, but did you know that Icterus galbula was named for Sir George Calvert, Lord Baltimore, the founder of Maryland? The oriole’s black and gold plumage matches the colors of the Calvert family shield. Also, did you ever imagine that the oriole’s Latin name would be so weird? What kind of name is Icterus galbula?

One last bird fact: you can buy the cute plush toy pictured above, and many others like it, at Sapsucker Woods, the birding store at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. See the whole collection here.

Written by Mike
Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but he's also a traveler who fully expects to see every bird in the world. Besides founding 10,000 Birds in 2003, Mike has also created a number of other entertaining but now extirpated nature blog resources, particularly the Nature Blog Network and I and the Bird.