Baltimore Oriole in full breeding plumage. Photo by Chandler S. (Chan) Robbins, Senior Ornithologist, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.
Maryland made special provisions to protect the Baltimore Oriole in 1882 (Chapter 154, Acts of 1882). Since passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, the Baltimore Oriole is protected by federal law covering all migratory bird species, and, since 1975, by the State's Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act (Chapter 27, Acts of 1975).
Despite its special status, since 1966 (and more rapidly after 1980) the number of Baltimore Orioles has been declining. The loss is attributed to destruction of breeding habitat and tropical winter habitat, and toxic pesticides ingested by the insects which constitute the Oriole's main diet.
In the late 1930s, Hoagy Carmichael composed the song, "Baltimore Oriole," lyrics by Paul Francis Webster.
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