The pure, liquid, whistling tones of the male Baltimore Oriole are a herald of springtime in eastern North America. His song consists of a short series of paired notes, repeated 2–7 times, lasting 1–2 seconds. The flutelike sound has a full, rich tone. The male sings to establish and defend a breeding territory, so you won’t hear the full song on the wintering grounds. The female Baltimore Oriole also sings. Her shorter songs may be communications with her mate. Occasionally, mated pairs may sing a duet.
Both male and female Baltimore Orioles give a staccato chatter during aggressive encounters, such as when trying to drive an intruder out of their nesting area. The chatter call may be heard at any time of day and year. It alerts other orioles nearby and can attract them to help drive away the threat. Both male and female Baltimore Orioles also give a sharp, repetitive chuck as an alarm call. Neighboring orioles of various species respond to each others’ chuck calls. Female Baltimore Orioles give a special, aggressive scream call when defending their nests.
During breeding season, mature males sometimes make a flutter-drum sound to each other by beating their wings loudly in flight.