Because of their strikingly beautiful black and orange or yellow plumage, their distinctive whistle, spring songs and their amazing suspended nest, Orioles are quickly becoming one of America’s favorite birds. While over eight species of Orioles can regularly be seen in the United States, we’ll deal mainly with two species: Baltimore, and Orchard. All United States Orioles show variation on the theme of black and orange or yellow plumage.
All Orioles are tropical migrants. While migrations vary from year-to –year, Orioles generally arrive in the Midwest in early Mary. It is very important that you have Oriole feeders up and ready, or often they will pass you by for better feeding grounds. It is equally important to have nesting materials out and ready to help encourage Orioles to nesting your yards. Although studies are still being done on how much we can tempt Orioles to nest in backyards, by summer’s end Migrating Orioles are headed back south to their tropical winter homes in Central and South America. It does appear that Baltimore Oriole’s ranges are expanding, while Orchard Orioles are declining. All Orioles need and benefit from your help.
Where nesting material is available, Orioles will defend an area of several acres and start building a pendulous nest. You can help encourage them by offering long strips of twine or horse hair.
Orioles make a pendulous nest with the females normally taking 5-8 days to do all the weaving. The male defends their territory and occasionally checks out the construction of the nest, but offers little help or expertise. The nest may be as much as 8 inches in length and is often supported from the tips of branches that hang out over open areas such as rivers or roads. The female will lay 4-5 pale gray to bluish eggs, which she aloe will incubate until they hatch in 12-14 days. Both parents feed the babies until they fledge in another 12-14 days. By summer’s end all will have departed for a warm winter stay I tropical warmer climates.
Orioles migrate at night so they are tired, cold and hungry when they arrive in your yard. If you wait until you see’em, you are “too late” to attract maximum numbers of Orioles to your yards. Oranges are one of the keys to attracting Orioles. Cut oranges in Half and provide them “juicy side out.”
You can also attract Orioles up close by offering Oriole nectar, jelly and fruit on feeders by the house and patio. Our favorite Oriole feeders have a wide mouth and flat top for easy cleaning. Recycled plastics feeders will last for years.
If you worry that the ants will bother your jelly or Oriole nectar, simply hang your feeder off of a Nectar Protector Ant Moat. You fill the moat with water and it acts like a moat around a castle (ants can’t swim) and for just a few bucks you never have to mess with cleaning them out of the feeder!!
If you have more question and would like to attract Orioles to your backyard please come in to Rochester Feed & Country Store and we will gladly help you attract your own Orioles.