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Welcome to Backyard Wildlife Habitat.Info, your guide to creating and maintaining a backyard wildlife habitat.
 
 
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11/07/2007

 
 

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You have just heard the melodious song of the Northern Oriole, also known as the Baltimore Oriole in the east, and Bullock's in the west.  Members of the Blackbird family, they are perhaps one of the most colorful of birds.  Males are black above and orange below, with orange on the rump and tail.  The Bullock's oriole has a white patch on its wing and orange cheeks.  The orchard oriole is chestnut, and Scott's oriole has a larger black "hood".  Females are olive and pale yellow.  Occasionally you may see these beauties around your feeders in winter, but most migrate to South America.
 
You need see and  hear these birds only once to be forever hooked.  The males are first to arrive in spring.  They fly from tree to tree calling for a mate.  The females arrive in a week or two.  The nests are quite unique.  You will see the woven pouches hanging from the tips of twigs in upper story trees.  Don't expect to see these nests very close to the ground. 
 
Orioles are attracted to oranges, nectar feeders, grape jelly,  and nesting materials.  Orioles are primarily insect eaters but are known to be fond of oranges and grape jelly.  It is a good idea to begin trying these enticements as soon as you hear the first calls to announce their arrival in your neighborhood.  Although I have had very little luck with oranges, jelly or nectar, the nesting materials seem to be a big hit.  Hair, human or animal is one of the best attractants, followed by natural twine.  Be sure and limit the length of twine and yarn to no more than 8 inches.  Anything longer in length  could pose a danger to the birds.        
 
If you are lucky enough to have them nest in your yard, be aware they are very good parents, and can become very crabby when the babies fledge.  I have seen them dive for dogs as well as adults. 
 
If you would like more information on Orioles visit Patuxent Bird Identification Center   The oriole sound you here on this page, is one of many from Patuxent.