About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Where do orioles winter?

Is there a Baltimore Orioles bird migration map ~ Beloit, Wisconsin

Most Baltimore Orioles spend the winter in Florida as well as Central and South America. Their journey north begins at the end of April. By early May, male orioles should reach their breeding grounds in the northern United States.

You can watch their migration at the Journey North website. 

Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula
Order: PASSERIFORMES Family: Blackbirds and Orioles (Icteridae)
The Baltimore Oriole (7-8.25”) is bright orange bird with black hood and back. Wings are black with orange shoulder patches and strongly white-edged feathers that appear as bars. Female has an olive brown back, yellow/orange underparts and white-edged feathers on the wings. Juvenile is paler overall and has gray belly and the first year male has black throat patch.

The name “oriole” is from the Latin aureolus, which means golden. The Baltimore Oriole was named in the early 1600s for George Calvert, Baron of Baltimore, whose livery stable was painted bright yellow and black. The Baltimore Oriole’s range overlaps with that of the similar Bullock's Oriole in the Midwest, and the two species are sometimes considered to be conspecific (belonging to the same species) under the name Northern Oriole because they form fertile hybrids.

oriole female nestDSC_0157Image by ben_long_hair via Flickr
Orioles usually stay hidden in the trees eating insect and fruit and singing their beautiful whistling notes. They can be drawn down from their perches with foods like orange slices, grape jelly, mealworms, suet, and nectar feeders.

The Baltimore Oriole is a common inhabitant of suburban landscapes due to is preference for open settings that are bordered with mature trees used for nesting. The Oriole’s hanging-basket nest is an engineering masterpiece woven with plant fibers, grasses, vine and tree bark and sometimes string or yarn 6-45 feet in the air. This keeps them safe from most predators. The female builds her nest and incubates the eggs with little or no help from its mate, but both feed the young. Orioles will lay 4-5 eggs anywhere from May to June and the young will fledge as late as 30 days from egg laying.
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Anonymous said...

Had tons of Orioles in Southwest Austin, TX last week - but I think they're gone now. They loved our hummingbird feeders.

Anonymous said...

2 Male Orioles showed up yesterday (5/1/13) @ my feeder. Smithville, Mo.

Andrea Fox Hencke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrea Fox Hencke said...

For the first time ever, 1 female Oriole appeared in my yard and it was on Mother's Day (5/12/13). I didn't see the male until today (5/13/13), but I think he also enjoyed the oranges on Mother's Day because the oranges really looked snacked on here in Palatine, IL.

Anonymous said...

Saw an oriole in my yard today in Chester County, PA

Anonymous said...

We had 4 just south of Dallas, Tx the last two days...eating oranges. Here are a couple of photos...

Anonymous said...

they showed up in ann arbor, mi 5/3/2014

Anonymous said...

saw my first male and female in Northville Mi 5/11/14

Anonymous said...

2 males hanging at feeders in western new York 5/12/2014

Anonymous said...

Saw the first male/female pair of Northern Oriole arrive in Wyoming. 5/17/2014

Anonymous said...

2 pairs at grape jelly dish on May 12, 2016 in Livonia, Mi