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Brightly Colored Baltimore Oriole: A Favorite Feathered Visitor at Tara

The bright orange and black-colored Baltimore Orioles can be seen at Tara starting with spring migration in mid- to late-April. They are often found in open woodland or singing high in trees.

They spend the winter in Florida, the Caribbean, northern South America, and Central America. Migration south starts in late summer.

Baltimore Oriole at Tara Lodge. Photo by P. Jacobs

Baltimore Oriole at Tara Lodge. Photo by P. Jacobs

Food

Baltimore Orioles feed on insects, berries, and nectar. During the spring, they mainly feed on fruits. We put out oranges sliced in half to attract the birds on the back porch of Tara Lodge.

Nesting

Females will nest high up in a tree, using found fibers, both natural and man-made to weave a hanging nest. She pushes and pulls the fibers around one another, creating a strong, woven pattern that will make up a nest. The inside of the nest is lined with soft downy fibers, feathers, and the like. It takes about a week to make a nest. The eggs will be incubated for 12 to 14 days and young chicks fledge in about as many days.

Baltimore Oriole nest in the Tara Native Plant Garden

Baltimore Oriole nest in the Tara Native Plant Garden

Baltimore Oriole Female

Baltimore Oriole Female

Young Male Orioles

Young male Orioles don’t have the bright orange feathers seen on adults until after the fall of their second year. Until then, they have a more muted color. Each year after they molt, female Baltimore Orioles will deepen in color.

 

More information

Baltimore Oriole at Tara

Baltimore Oriole at Tara

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