Bahama Oriole Icterus northropi

Aiman Raza, Matthew Kane, and Kevin Omland
Version: 2.0 — Published July 16, 2020

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

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Audio recordings of vocalizations available at Macaulay Library and Xeno-canto.

Vocal Development

Juveniles make chu and twitter calls in addition to chit-like and whine-like calls similar to, but at a higher frequency than the corresponding adult calls (21). Once Bahama Orioles reach adulthood, their song apparently does not change as they age (21).

Vocal Array

Both individuals of pairs give the full range of vocalizations and frequently duet (21). In the duet, one partner, likely the male, calls out and the other partner, likely the female, responds with a similar song (21).


Both sexes sing, and there is evidence that singing in both sexes is the ancestral state (22). The song is a clear whistle about 2.4 s long with between 8 and 10 elements (6) and a frequency of range of 1,951–5,467 kHz (mean ~3,876 kHz), the largest among the Greater Antillean orioles (21).


There are at least 4 call types given by adults, including a whine and a chit (21). Both sexes frequently give a distinctive descending two-note whistle throughout the year.


Duetting between mated pairs occurs mainly during the breeding season before nest construction, and decreases after nest construction (21).

Social Context and Presumed Functions of Vocalizations

No information.

Nonvocal Sounds

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Raza, A., M. Kane, and K. Omland (2020). Bahama Oriole (Icterus northropi), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (P. G. Rodewald and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.graori3.02