Given my love for bright colors, I adore orioles and have been trying to attract them to my yard for three years. These brilliantly orange and black birds are stunning. In Missouri we have the Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) and the Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius). Further west you can find Bullock’s Oriole (Icterus bullockii) and in the southwest the Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus), Scott’s oriole (Icterus parisorum), and Audubon's Oriole (Icterus graduacauda). All these birds are brightly colored in shades of orange and yellow along with striking black markings.
Male Baltimore Oriole yelling at the female oriole below that just wants some grape jelly.
The female Baltimore Oriole, not the duller shades of orange and lack of black markings compared to the male.
As mentioned, I have been trying to attract Baltimore Orioles to my yard as they migrate through each spring. Last year I was able to entice a couple to stop for a slice of orange and a bit of grape jelly. This past May I was able to attract several more: three to four males and one female arrived in early May and stayed about a week. After they moved on another one or two males and a female stopped by for another week, as well as a young juvenile male. Baltimore Orioles breed in the southern US into southern Canada. During migration, you can attract these birds by proving orange slice, purple grapes and grape jelly. They also like to drink nectar from hummingbird or oriole specific feeders. They seem to prefer hanging out in the tops of trees, but will cautiously come down for a tasty snack. Once used to your feeders, they will become more bold. According to Audubon and Cornell’s bird websites, orioles prefer open woodland and are often found around cities and parks as well as more rural areas. Males have the brightest colors, with females generally being a more washed out orange and yellow coloring and without the bold black markings. Young males (less than 2 years old) have the duller coloration similar to that of a female, but they gain their bright, bold plumage around their second year. Females weave hanging nests of woven plant material high up in the treetops. Baltimore Orioles make the trip up north relatively short, they usually start migrating back to their wintering grounds around July, so I will be putting our more oranges in July hoping to catch them on their journey back south.
I believe this is a young male Baltimore Oriole, with the duller coloration, but note the dark spot on the chest, I noticed some of the adult males had this dark spot as well (but all black) so I think it is a male and not a female.
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