Baltimore Orioles are a bright orange-yellow with black and white wings. Females have a more dull yellow color, with grey-brown wings. Both genders have a height of about 6.5-7.5 inches with a wingspan of about 9 inches to a foot long.
These Orioles live in the eastern United States during the summer, traveling to the far south area of North America in the winter. The birds tend to inhabit deciduous trees, not in large dense forests, but mainly at the forest’s edge. During the winter, while in Central America, Baltimore Orioles inhabit open woodlands and gardens. Baltimore Orioles are migratory and head toward neotropical climates.
Baltimore Orioles are highly adjusted to human life, wandering in public parks and backyards. They forage in shrubs, brush and in treetops, hanging upside down on branches. The birds will sometimes fly out, catching insects in the air. Males do not defend feeding territories but defend their nesting areas with their song.
Nesting and Nestlings:
They nest in deciduous trees about 20 to 30 feet off the ground, though will sometimes nest up to 90 feet above the ground. Females built their nests with little help from the male, taking about 1-2 weeks. The nest is about 2-3 inches wide with a diameter and a depth of 3-4 inches. Their eggs are .6-.7 inches wide, with a tan-white color and brown streaks throughout. The nest is built from grass, spanish moss, wool, and horsehair, along with cellophane, twine, or fishing line. Sometimes, fibers from an old nest are used by the female for the new nest. She weaves the nest by randomly poking the fibers to make no deliberate knots which eventually become tangles.
The females have 3-7 eggs which have an incubation period lasts about 2 weeks. After hatching the nesting period is another 2 weeks. It takes males 1/2 to one year to gain their bright orange-yellow plumage.
Baltimore Orioles are omnivorous and stick mainly to insects (especially caterpillars), fruit and nectar. You can attract Baltimore Orioles to your backyard with a similar nectar-mixture you would leave for hummingbirds. The mixture is 1 part sugar to 8 parts water, while hummingbirds prefer 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. Not only is the mixture different but the feeder must be different also. It should have larger ports, because of their larger beaks. Another way to try to lure the orioles to your backyard is by leaving out slices of oranges especially, and or apples, bananas and peaches.