Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Bullock's Oriole - Icterus bullockii
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General Comments The Bullock's Oriole is the western counterpart to the Baltimore Oriole. Originally classified as separate species, these two species were merged as a single species -- Northern Oriole -- for a few decades, as the two hybridize in some areas where their ranges come into contact. Thankfully, more research has prompted the American Ornithologists' Union to re-split the two, back to Bullock's and Baltimore. Bullock's is a very rare visitor, mainly in winter at feeders, to North Carolina; birds have often lingered for a few weeks or even over-wintered. There are at least 30 records, but none yet from the mountains. NOTE: a handful of these records/reports are of females, which can easily be confused with female Baltimore Orioles; thus, it is hoped that all of these reports were correct.
Breeding Status Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank SZ
Global Rank G5
Coastal Plain Very rare winter visitor; most records prior to 2010; however, there were four records during the 2023-24 winter. There are about 15 records, with eight of the birds lingering for several weeks. Records rather evenly spread from inland towns and cities to the coastal region. The span of dates is 2 Dec to 10 May. Peak counts: 4 (highest number on a single date), Morehead City, during the winter of 1959-60.
Piedmont Very rare winter visitor. There are about 16 records, with 8-9 birds over-wintering. Records are scattered from Raleigh and Fuquay-Varina west to Pittsboro (Chatham), Stallings (Union), Davidson (Mecklenburg), Charlotte, Huntersville (Mecklenburg), Conover (Catawba), and northeastern Gaston. No records yet from the northwestern part of the province (including the heavily populated Triad region). Dates range from 11 Nov to 31 Mar. Unlike in the Coastal Plain, at least 12 of these reports have been since 2005. Peak counts: 1.
Mountains No records.
Finding Tips Your first Bullock's Oriole will likely be seen at someone's feeder.
Attribution LeGrand[2024-05-14], LeGrand[2023-08-10], LeGrand[2023-04-02]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.