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.