About The Baltimore Oriole
The Baltimore Oriole is a medium sized songbird. On the average, it measures at 17-19 cm (6-7 in) with a wingspan of 23-30 cm (9-12 in) and a weight of 30-40 grams. It has a long and pointed bill. The Baltimore Oriole usually has a long tail and has two wingbars.
The male is generally flame orange and black with a solid black head. The female is usually olive brown on top and burnt orange and yellow on the underside. It also doesn’t have the solid black head of the male. The immature Baltimore Oriole looks very much like the female except that its coloring is paler.
The Baltimore Oriole Nesting Preferences
The Baltimore Oriole prefers to build its nest on tall trees. Its favorite trees to build on are elm and maple. The Baltimore Oriole prefers to hang the nest by the rim on branches or on forks of trees, about 25 to 30 feet above the ground. The nest itself is shaped like a gourd and is woven. The most common materials used are hair, strips of bark, grapevines, grass, and plant and synthetic fiber. For the lining, grass, plant down, and hair is used.
Building a Birdhouse For The Baltimore Oriole
In order to attract Baltimore Orioles to your backyard, it would be best to have at least one tree. The next step is to provide a feeder for them. A mid-sized feeder with feeding ports and perches will be suitable. Commercial feeders vary in size and shape but dimensions of 8-1/4 x 8-3/4 x 2-1/4 should be good enough for an average-sized backyard. Provide places to hang orange halves and place jellies and marmalades in and stock up on them!
The Baltimore Oriole Mating Habits
The Baltimore Oriole has its mating season from late April to early May. The male generally arrives at the mating grounds 2 – 3 days before the female and establishes its territory. In order to attract a female’s attention the male perches itself on a branch near the female. It then primps and shows off its plumage like a model showing off clothes. It raises itself to full height, ruffles its feathers, bows, and turns around. All this time, the male Oriole launches into a seductive song. The female then replies with her own song. Once a male and a female have paired off, they defend their territory fiercely. Nesting also begins almost at once.
The Baltimore Oriole Feeding Preferences
The Baltimore Oriole’s feeding preferences are varied. Their main fare is composed of caterpillars but they also eat small insects and spiders. They have been observed to frequent potato patches to feed on potato beetles. Furthermore, they will also eat fruits and nectar.
Interesting Baltimore Oriole Facts
- Northerners love the Baltimore Oriole as for them, the bird signals the coming of spring.
- Unlike other birds, the Baltimore Oriole is not afraid of spiny caterpillars. In fact, they are known to provide a good defense against such pests!
- Though Baltimore Orioles seem to be good natured, they can be fierce. They use their sharp beaks as weapons and engage their enemies even in mid-air.