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Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

The Baltimore Oriole – (Icterus Galbula)

How The Baltimore Oriole Got It’s Name

It received its name from the resemblance of the male’s colors to those on the coat-of-arms of Lord Baltimore.

What a Baltimore Oriole Looks Like

Male: The adult male is orange on the underparts shoulder patch and rump, with some birds appearing a very deep flaming orange and others appearing yellowish-orange. All of the rest of the male’s plumage is black.

Baltimore Oriole in Spring Tree

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Female: The adult female is yellow-brown on the upper parts with darker wings, and dull orange-yellow on the breast and belly.

Juvenile Orioles: look similar to the female, with males taking until the fall of their second year to reach adult plumage.

 

Female Baltimore Oriole

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What Does an Oriole Sound Like ?

 

What Does A Baltimore Oriole Eat

1.) Baltimore orioles forage in trees and shrubs: They seem to prefer only ripe, dark-colored fruit. Orioles seek out the darkest mulberries, the reddest cherries, and the deepest-purple grapes, and will ignore green grapes and yellow cherries even if they are ripe. Baltimore orioles sometimes use their bills in an unusual way, called “gaping”: they stab the closed bill into soft fruits, then open their mouths to cut a juicy swath from which they drink with their tongues.

2.) They mainly eat insects: making short flights to catch insects in the sky.

 

Oriole eating a bug

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Their favorite prey is the tent caterpillar moth, which they typically eat in their larval stage. If you have ever had the pleasure seeing them eat tent caterpillars, it is comical. They beat the larvae against a tree branch removing the skin and hair of the caterpillars. I feel no remorse for giggling at the behavior. Tent caterpillars are nasty!

 

 

Baltimore Oriole - This a juvenile oriole. The adult male is orange on the underparts shoulder patch and rump, with some birds appearing a very deep flaming orange and others appearing yellowish-orange. All of the rest of the male's plumage is black. The adult female is yellow-brown on the upper parts with darker wings, and dull orange-yellow on the breast and belly. The juvenile oriole is similar-looking to the female, with males taking until the fall of their second year to reach adult plumage. This male is in his second year.

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How You Can Attract Them To Your Yard

1.) Sugar Nectar Feeder: If you do not have an oriole feeder they have often been seen sipping at hummingbird feeders.

2.) Halved Orange: They will absolutely stop at your feeders to enjoy. ( Additional blog post: 11 birds that eat oranges )

3.) Grape Jelly: Provide shallow dishes with store bought dark colored grape jelly. During spring and fall, the sugary jelly is readily converted into fat, which supplies energy for migration.


Nesting

The Baltimore orioles nest is built by the female. It is a tightly woven pouch located on the end of a branch

Eggs

The female lays three to seven eggs. The eggs are pale gray or white with a slight blue tint. The incubation period is 12 to 14 days.

Feeding Young

Both parents find food for about 14 days for their young.  They feed the young by regurgitating what they have consumed.

 

Baltimore Orioles Babies

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Leaving the Nest:

After 14 days the feathers of the young are fully developed and they leave the nest.

 

Happy Birding!

Until next time friends.  Take care!

 

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