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.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

How long orioles stay in Michigan

I'm not getting as many orioles anymore. Where are they?

Baltimore Oriole chick from Wikimedia Commons
When orioles arrive in the spring they are super hungry. The diet of the Baltimore Oriole consist of insects, fruits, and flower nectar. After a long migration they take advantage feeders that offer orange halves, grape jelly, sugar water, suets, or mealworms.

Males arrive around the end of April in mid-Michigan and the females follow a couple weeks later. Males immediately start to court potential mates. Once the birds pair up the female goes to work on building a nest usually around the end of May. Building the nest takes about a week, but windy or rainy weather may push this as long as 15 days. By mid-June she will be incubating about four eggs for a couple weeks. Then the babies hatch and both male and female will feed the little chicklets for a couple weeks in the nest.

During this time males continue to visit your feeders if you are near their nesting territory but the females on the eggs will visit less often. But always keep your feeders clean and full of fresh foods. By the end of June if everything has gone as planned, a lot of orioles will come back and bring the new kids. And the babies' reaction to getting their first taste of jelly is priceless!

July is the last hurrah. Orioles begin to molt and prepare to migrate south. Peak migration south is August and September. October through February most orioles hang out in the tropics. Then in March and April some orioles begin moving north again.

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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