Baltimore Oriole

Icterus galbula

Baltimore Oriole are a colorful songbird that comes to the New England during the summer to breed. The easily recognized bright orange males are often seen among the leaves as they forage for food. They are agile and acrobatic birds that readily to feeders.

Orioles like to live in deciduous, leafy woodlands, but NOT deep forests. They prefer to stay close to the forest edge and river banks.

FEEDING: Orioles prefer a diet filled with insects, nectar and fruit. You can often see them visiting flowering trees for find nectar and later in the season, ripe fruit. They are also well known for eating pest  species of insects like tent caterpillars, gypsy moth caterpillars, fall webworms and even insects in galls.

NESTS: Orioles build hanging, sock-like nests, similar to the famed Weaver Birds of Africa

CONSERVATION: Sadly, the population of orioles is decreasing due to deforestation and habitat loss. Because they migrate to Central American during the summer, they are dependent on woodlands in those countries as well. They are especially fond of shade grown coffee plantations. 

Additionally, because they eat a lot of insects, the use of insecticides, both by homeowners and commercial interests, negatively impact orioles. Those insecticides may even poison the birds. 

Finally, because orioles migrate at night, they are victims of collisions with the windows of skyscrapers. They are also known to collide with radio towers.

ATTRACTING THEM TO YOUR YARD: To attract orioles to your yard, hand orange halves in the trees or purchase a special oriole feeder to fill with sugar water (NEVER use colored sugar water mixtures!). Even better, plant native shrubs that produce nectar bearing flowers and brightly colored fruit.


Male Baltimore Oriole (above), female Baltimore Oriole (below)

Oriole nest (below)