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, May 7, 2018

Yellow and black bird on oriole feeder

Photo of first year male Orchard Oriole from Wikimedia Commons
I had a brand new bird at the feeder this week. Alongside the Baltimore Oriole, a small, skinny, yellow, and black bird showed up. It was a first year male Orchard Oriole!

The smallest of North America’s orioles, the Orchard Oriole is not as common at feeders as the Baltimore Oriole but this year's tough spring is bringing about an abundance of birds struggling to find food.

The Orchard Oriole males are mostly black on the head, back, wings and tail. But their breast, rump and wing epaulets are a rich chestnut red. Females are greenish yellow with two white wing bars and no black. And I saw a first year male which is a dusty yellow with a black throat.

Orchard orioles migrate in the spring from their wintering grounds (Central Mexico to Northern Colombia) March through April, and arrive in their breeding ranges late April through late May. They may stop at nectar, fruit, jelly, suet, and mealworm feeders as well as yards that have a shrubby yard to provide enough insects and spiders and fruits such as mulberries and chokecherries.

Unfortunately their population has been in decline in the central U.S.A, possibly due to loss of habitat and pesticides used in orchards.  

Related Articles: 
- Facts on the Baltimore Oriole http://bit.ly/GzSTbi
- Where do orioles winter? http://bit.ly/GAeWv5
- Close-up of Baltimore Oriole http://bit.ly/GAf6T7
- When can I expect my orioles to arrive? http://goo.gl/OHrCc

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