Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Baltimore Oriole



Finally managed to attract a Baltimore Oriole to the yard this year after three years of trying. As you can see from the picture I was also lucky enough for it to be a male. Unfortunately there was no female so he did not stick around longer than a day, but it was a great day.

I saved the votes from the previous week and the oriole came out on top with three vote. The 2 votes that the chipping sparrow received will be added to next weeks total.

I was under the impression that you would need an open area near some woods in order to attract them. I live in a populated urban area and had given up on getting them after not seeing even one in three years. The large number I saw last week while bird watching and talking to a lady who said she lives in an urban area and gets allot of them convinced me to give it another try. I put the orange half's out on Monday and the handsome fellow in the picture showed up on Wednesday.

If you want to try and attract them to your yard, they eat insects fruit and nectar. The bird in the picture would hang from my hummingbird feeders and drink away. They sell oriole feeders at bird stores and even Wal-Mart. The nectar is also sold only colored orange. You can just use the recipe I put up on the side bar and it will work as well. The best feeder I've found looks just like a feeder for a hummingbirds with some added features. It has a flat tray which holds nectar. The top has dimples where you can put grape jelly. (they also love grape jelly) and the hanger that screws into it is pointed so you can add an orange half as well. It truly is an oriole's dream. You can also just put an orange half on a fence, tree or post as I did, if you have a picnic table out back it will also work, just be aware that the orange half's do attract ants.

The male is easily distinguished from the female. He is a bright flaming orange with a black head and black extending down the nape of the neck on to his back. He also has black wings with white and orange wing bars. He has an orange tail with black streaks and has a grey bill and dark eyes. The female is a pale yellow with orange tones, grey brown wings, white wing bars and dark eyes. The juveniles look the same as the female.

The oriole is a bird that does migrate. It's migration is complete to Mexico, Central American and South America.

It builds a pendulous nest that the female builds. They produce 1 brood per year and lay 4-5 bluish eggs with brown markings. The incubation period is 12-14 days and the female incubates. The fledgling stage is 12-14 days and both parents feed the young.

The oriole has a great song and I've always heard them before I've seen them. Their song is similar to the American robin but just a little different. If your familiar with the sound of a robin and hear something that sounds close but is not quite right, keep your eyes open as there's a chance it's an oriole. Once your familiar with it you'll have no problem identifying when they are around. I've read they often return to the same area each year, so once you have them coming in there's a good chance you'll get them to return next year. I can not say that this is correct as this is my first year getting one, however I will have oranges and grape jelly all over the yard next spring and I'll be able to give my opinion then. They are also some of the last birds to arrive here in Ohio (May) and one of the first to start migrating back out in the fall. (September)

I hope this posting helps motivate you to search out the Baltimore oriole. There are few birds that can match its color and beauty. If your not getting them yet in your yard, check your local bird store or park and see where you'll be able to locate and see one. Once you see your first, you'll have all the motivation you need to try and have them visit your back yard.

I've posted which birds I've spotted visiting my yard this past week in the side bar and will continue to do this weekly. Based upon where you live, it may help you identify where a certain species of bird may be during the migration. Also The vote will be reset for next weeks bird and the chipping sparrow already has a 2 vote lead from last week. Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to sharing more on a different bird next weekend.

41 comments:

Renna said...

I had a male Oriole show up at my hummer's feeder a few years ago. It's the only time I've seen one other than in pictures. He stayed about a week. It was thrilling to watch him, though I never managed to get his picture.

Toni said...

I don't even think I've ever noticed a male Oriole and we have Orioles-a-plenty here. I'll be havin' a closer look, I will.
Love,
Pone
p.s. See you in about 5 or 6 weeks!

Remington said...

Pone.....get the oranges I mentioned and just cut them in half. Place them where they can be spotted and if Orioles are around I promise they will find them. The female is yellow so if you see that you'll know what it is. Good luck and get me some pictures if you succeed.

Anonymous said...

Just had a male Baltimore Oriole at my hummingbird feeder. Beautiful. I live in northern Iowa.

Anonymous said...

Had a pair of Baltimore Orioles show up at a hummingbird feeder. Put out some grape jelly and they loved it! A few days later I purchased a "dedicated" Oriole feeder...loaded it up with sugar water, grape jelly, orange marmalade (which I read they loved), and a slice of orange. Hung it up and haven't seen an Oriole near it YET!!!...but I'm waiting...

Anonymous said...

What is the best location for the orange "feeder"? We live on the marsh in MA.

Remington said...

Location of the feeder should be in the open where it's visible. One thing to remember about birds and feeding them. I've see where it take birds up to 6 months before using a feeder. This is usally a rule of thumb. Other birds like chickadees are usually the first to come to a new feeder. Keep refreshing the food and if they are hanging around they will usually become comfortable and start using the. If the grape jelly and orages are doing the trick stay with them and keep the other feeder up. You can even move it closer to the oranges and jelly they are already using. Keep at it and let me know how it turnds out for you.

Anonymous said...

I had our oriole feeder out around mid May this year and we had orioles coming all the time until about the second week in June they stopped coming altogether. Is this normal for them and will they come back to the feeder this summer?

Jim said...

We've had a mating pair the last three years, this spring we had four males until the female started nesting.
The nest is in a willow, about 15 feet from our deck at eye level from the deck. It looks like three eggs were laid. One fledgling fell out two days ago and the dog got it. Another is hanging on the outside of the nest as I write and the third has stuck it's head out, looked like it was pushing and not letting the second back in the nest.
It's well feathered, but we don't know if it's ready to fly yet. I did get some decent pictures.
When we first saw them three years ago, we got one of the liquid feeders and put it in a birch tree right by the deck and they started feeding almost immediately.

Jim said...

By the way, we're in Minnesota and after the young ones fledge, that's the last we see of the Oriole's for the year.

We're trying the grape jelly now, hopefully it will work.

Remington said...

depending on where you live it may be normal because there is a chance you are just catching the migration. By feeding them you are getting to enjoy them more than someone who doesn't. People who don't feed them probably never see them at all. There's also the possibility that one year you may get a pair to stay and breed. It's why that when most people stop feeding in the spring, I start putting out fruit and other food sources that I normally don't just to attract migrating birds to my yard. The next chance to see different bird in your yard will be the fall migration. It more drug out than the spring migration and the birds coloring is usually not as brilliant. That's why I really get keyed up for the spring migration.

Jim...... As far as how long they stay I can't say with certanty. If they are like my house wrens they leave once the young have left the nest of their second brood. I see them every day and the next thing you know they are gone.

I'm glad the oriols have got so much attention here. Along with the hummingbird and blue bird migration I'll do some early post next spring so people can be prepared and have their oranges and jelly out in time so you'll have your best chance of seeing them in your yard next year

Tina said...

I got my first male and immature oriole this spring which was spectecular!!! I bought a orange and yellow bowl that looked like a flower and put a half an orange in that and set it on my back deck. In two days they found it and stuck around for awhile and now they are not coming around. I did not see the female, what I thought was the little lady after doing some research was the immature male. I hope to see them next spring!! I took one great photo of each of them in fact I won second place for the male oriole in a photo contest we had in a family reunion recently!!

Anonymous said...

Last year I had some orioles...this year I started putting out food during the last part of April. They showed up on May 1.I even had an Orchard O. I saw three males at once and three females. I put out oranges some of the time but they really eat the grape jelly. I can't tell you how many jars I have gone through. Last year they stayed until the end of July in Oskaloosa, Iowa. However, I have not seen them since last week.

Anonymous said...

I believe they come back to the same area each year, I have had a banded male for two years.I had six males at the feeders at once which was great to see but hard on the jelly supply.
Ont. Canada

Anonymous said...

Hello You now can buy grape nictar for baltimore oriole's, and they love it better then the orange.

Anonymous said...

Hello You now can buy grape nictar for baltimore oriole's, and they love it better then the orange.

Arianika said...

Last week I saw a gorgeous bird with a bright orange belly in a tree near my home. I suspected it was an oriole and was right! I'd never seen an oriole before am so excited to know they pass through my area. I just moved to my new home which is near a forest preserve in Chicago. Thanks for all your tips. I'm going to try the orange and jelly and hopefully get one to come to my yard!

Anonymous said...

We live in the Detroit, MI area and have been seeing Orioles for the past two weeks. I purchased one of the feeders which holds nectar, jelly and an orange half. So far, they've been devouring the grape jelly and a little orange, but no interest in the nectar- they've taken some nectar from my hummingbird feeder. Yesterday we had a downpour and I was not able to refill the jelly until today. I've read somewhere that sometimes they won't come back to your feeder if they find it empty once- any comments on that??

We've had 2 males and one female show up. But they are so skittish we've not been able to take their picture yet.

I'm keeping my feeder going indefinitely and hope they will show back up.

Anonymous said...

I live in south Texas (Corpus Christi area). A week ago we had quite a few Baltimore Orioles through our backyard feeding on our hummer feeders. Last week was mostly females. Today during dinner we had 7 birds in our mesquite tree within view of our dining room; awaiting their turn on our 2 hummer feeders! What a thrill! This time there were 4 males, 1 immature male, & 2 females. We're new to the area, & had no idea that they came through here, let alone around the same time as the hummers, so it's been such a thrill to add them to the massive amount of hummingbirds we've seen the past few weeks. Needless to say, I haven't tried any oranges or jelly yet. But I will!

Susan Higgins said...

I'm curious, have your Orioles come back after 2008 when you wrote this blog post?

Nancy from Wentzville, Mo. said...

Last year (2009)I had a mating pair of baltimore orioles frequent my feeder in Wentzville, Missouri and they brought their babies to the feeder as well once they hatched. It was an awesome experience. They moved on as soon as the babies were able. I have my feeder out this year hoping they will return.

Anonymous said...

I spotted a male Oriole today flying near my home in Pipersville, PA. This is the first time I have ever seen one. I'm also going to put out the orange & jelly. Thank you for the information.

Anonymous said...

In Lenexa,KS we had two male and two female Orioles come to our hummingbird feeder this year. We've lived here six years and this is a first. They stayed about two weeks and now are gone. We hope they will return. They were just beautiful.

Anonymous said...

A gorgeous male Baltimore Oriole showed up at my suet feeder and seed feeder this morning Dec.7 2010. Charlotte North Carolina

Pat said...

Live in Charlotte, NC. The last two days (Feb. 10 & 11, 2011) we've had a female Baltimore oriole at our bird feeder, happily chowing down on sunflower chips! It's pretty cold here, and I thought they were supposed to have migrated to Mexico, or someplace. No male spotted yet. Quite a colorful feeder we have, with bluebirds and cardinals, couple of kinds of woodpeckers, plus all the usual little birds, and even several rufous-sided towhees. The Carolina wren and Carolina chickadee are frequent visitors.

Anonymous said...

I live in Granger Indiana. I have the most beautiful male Oriole feeding at my humming bird feeder and at the finch feeder. He sits on the deck waiting for me to fill the hummingbird feeder! This is the first year I have seen him. He is absolutely beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I live in Michigan. My hummingbird feeder is on a shepard's hook this year. We have had 2 sightings of the male Baltimore Oriole come and perch on the shepard's hook. People who live a short distance away are using a Baltimore Oriole feeder that allows them to take the nectar/syrup. They told me the oriole has a bigger beak and cannot use the hummingbird feeder.

Anonymous said...

Usually the Orioles come to our hummingbird feeder for about 4 weeks and then are gone. This year they are still here and it's been 8 weeks now. They won't eat the grape jelly, but devour oranges (although that's dramatically reduced now). They don't like the Oriole feeder, but continue to the hummingbird feeders. This year we tried pink grapefruit along with the oranges and they picked the grapefruit first. Never heard of that before!

Anonymous said...

Its June 28, 2011... I've been feeding oranges daily to a nesting pair of Balt who build a nest every year in a Maple tree in my front yard.. 2 babies in the nest last week and now.. they are all gone.. no birds to the oranges in several days... where have they gone and will they be back this summer.... hate to waste the oranges as expensive as they are but would have liked to have seen the babies fly.. I did watch them attempt to leave the nest one day. Anyone have a clue?? I live in a rural area with fields and woods close by.. And by the way.. they hated the oriole dedicated feeder.. I string orange quarters on a reformed metal hanger...

Anonymous said...

I live by Spring Green, WI. I am lucky to have large flocks of Baltimore and Orchard orioles every year! I live in a large wooded track and feed a lot of different birds. I feed the orioles homemade nectar, grape jelly and oranges. When I started feeding grape jelly my flock number increased dramatically!! When the orioles arrive after their spring migration I go through a jar & half of jelly a day!! I hang glass wasp traps filled with nectar to minimize the bee swarms! The adults bring the young to the porch and tree hanging feeders regularly - truly a joy to support! The feeding frenzy subsides as they begin nesting and gears up again prior to the fall migration. I have tracked their spring arrival for a few years and they have always arrived within a 3 day period every year. I have the feeders out & ready prior to their arrival. I also maintain several bird baths which they enjoy. Hope you can also attract and support these beauties!

Anonymous said...

I live on long island and saw one on my birdbath a week ago...just putting out the feeder today for the first time...even more amazing, I was sitting on my loung chair and looked up into a huge maple tree and I spotted a nest...don't ask me how I saw it, about 60 feet up and now with my binoculars, they are flying all over...so excited! Hummingbirds on the other hand...had two visitors two years ago and not seen them since...any suggestions on when to fill the feeder? I haven't filled it yet.

Anonymous said...

We've had a bumper crop of orioles this year, as many as 7 at a time!......gone thru 5 jars of grape jelly so far. (Aberfoyle Ontario) They don't even bother with the oranges if there is grape jelly. They love the nectar though, and have been drinking and bathing in both birdbaths. They are shy and like to head in bushes by birdbath or up in trees and make funny alarm chatters. We hang the oriole jelly feeder on a high pole....2 dishes which we notice adult and baby will share but not 2 adults. They seem to have gone now but I expect they will be back to stock up on jelly before starting migration. We have enjoyed watching them so much!!

Anonymous said...

For the past 3 years we have had what I believe to be Baltimore Orioles. The male constantly pecks on our car mirrors and poops while he is doing it. This is the first year we have seen a female. She sits on top of the car and watches the male peck away. While he is beautiful, he makes a huge mess until they disappear about a month later. Any suggestions to make him stop pecking? We live in central Michigan

seansmom01 said...

We have lived in our home for a year and a half. One day this spring I saw a male at the hummingbird feeder so I immediately read on them. All mine eat are the grape jelly and I have gotten about 50 great pictures of them eating. They have been here for about 3 weeks and I am praying they don't leave. Does anyone know if they leave & migrate further North, will they come back to the feeders on their way back South. I know humming birds will do that but this is my first encounter with a pair of orioles and I am wondering if I have two pairs because my husband saw 2 males at the feeder at one time and it seems like the female visits the feeder about 5 times more often than the male making me wonder if it is 2 females that I am seeing instead of on. Any info. would be greatly appreciated. Denise in Pleasant Hill Missouri

seansmom01 said...

We have lived in our home for a year and a half. One day this spring I saw a male at the hummingbird feeder so I immediately read on them. All mine eat are the grape jelly and I have gotten about 50 great pictures of them eating. They have been here for about 3 weeks and I am praying they don't leave. Does anyone know if they leave & migrate further North, will they come back to the feeders on their way back South. I know humming birds will do that but this is my first encounter with a pair of orioles and I am wondering if I have two pairs because my husband saw 2 males at the feeder at one time and it seems like the female visits the feeder about 5 times more often than the male making me wonder if it is 2 females that I am seeing instead of on. Any info. would be greatly appreciated. Denise in Pleasant Hill Missouri

seansmom01 said...

We have lived in our home for a year and a half. One day this spring I saw a male at the hummingbird feeder so I immediately read on them. All mine eat are the grape jelly and I have gotten about 50 great pictures of them eating. They have been here for about 3 weeks and I am praying they don't leave. Does anyone know if they leave & migrate further North, will they come back to the feeders on their way back South. I know humming birds will do that but this is my first encounter with a pair of orioles and I am wondering if I have two pairs because my husband saw 2 males at the feeder at one time and it seems like the female visits the feeder about 5 times more often than the male making me wonder if it is 2 females that I am seeing instead of on. Any info. would be greatly appreciated. Denise in Pleasant Hill Missouri

Anonymous said...

I am curious, we have not seen a female since the babies hatched. The males are the only ones feeding the babies. Do the females leave after hatching the offspring?

Anonymous said...

We have enjoyed feeding Baltimore Orioles for two years in Lancaster, New York. I put out 2 orange halves and a bowl of grape jelly at the end of April to be sure to catch their attention as they migrate back up north. They generally arrive by May 1 and their loud mating song is delightful! By July, I have to refill the jelly bowl twice a day as they are bringing their young to the feeder. Later in July the wasps arrive and we must put out a trap with cola which keeps them away from the jelly. The orioles disappear in August and we sadly store away the feeder til next spring and turn our attention to the throngs of cardinals and grosbeaks!

Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed the company of many Baltimore Orioles over the years in Rhode Island. They "visit" in early spring, have their young, teach them to fly, feed them, teach them to eat and then they vanish in June to parts unknown. I assume they travel further north.

The attraction is grape jelly. They love grape jelly. As a group this year there were at least 4 families. How could it tell? Four males were waiting to feed their young in the trees. They are patient and share the feeder.

SIMPLY PRICELESS!

Anonymous said...

We had several this spring, eating grape jelly and orange half. They ignored the oriole nectar feeder and drank from the hummingbird feeder. The big woodpecker loved the orange and also the grape jelly. I'm wondering when they will head south through Wichita, KS.

Anonymous said...

I saw yesterday (I-40& I-77) a male Oriole: black cap with orange belly. Can this be true?