Baltimore Orioles Will Come to You

Baltimore orioles are a striking bird to see at your bird feeders, but they are rare due to their food preferences.

Orioles don’t generally eat nuts and seeds, but they love fresh fruits.

View shows dorsum of bird. Magee Marsh-Ohio

Baltimore orioles are a North American migratory bird of the family Icteridae.

They reside in the northern U.S to Canada during the summer (breeding season) and Central America during the winter. In our area, you can only see them for half of the year, making them more elusive than native birds.

Blue-Breeding range
Red-Wintering range

Baltimore orioles also have sexual dimorphism, the males have the vibrant oranges and females have a more dull yellow and grey plumage.

Female(top) and Male(bottom) (Liz Clayton Fuller)

They lay medium sized white eggs with brownish-black speckles and normally have 4-6 per clutch. Incubation usually lasts 12-15 days, and is done by the female alone.

Juvenile in Maryland, United States (Ken)

The best way to attract baltimore orioles to your yard is by providing fresh fruits. Some people buy a special feeder, cut oranges in half and then skewer them onto the feeder. Nectar is also loved by them, by using the same formula for hummingbirds (One cup sugar to four cups water) you can make them a tasty treat that will help them boost their energy levels.

Never offer orioles any type of fortified orange juice or fruit-flavored sodas. Instead, slice oranges and grapes in half and skewer them, but be sure to replace them every two to three days to prevent mold.

Male Baltimore Oriole enjoying an orange. (Twofingered Typist)

Baltimore orioles also love mealworms; offer them in a small bowl (ensure that the bowl is screwed down or else it will be thrown), next to nectar and fresh fruits.

An easy way to make them a feeder is by cutting an orange in half, punching a hole in the center of each side, stringing a piece of rope through the hole, then tie to any fixture, ensuring that the orange halves will hang securely.

Baltimore orioles also love grape jelly, but like most junk foods for humans, it should only be given in small amounts. Make sure the jellies you offer don’t have any added preservatives or artificial sweeteners, colors or flavors.

Baltimore orioles also have a lovely call, Sounding almost flute-like, whistling notes and often repeated in series.