A Seasonal Visitor

Steve saw a flash of color by the Little Pond. It is our first Baltimore Oriole of the season. The males do not get this plumage until their second year. I wonder if he’s been here before.

male Baltimore Oriole

I went to the market and bought an orange for this orange bird. Orioles eat caterpillars, but also fruit and relish orange halves hung up in suet feeders. I’m hoping to keep him around.


  1. Oh, he is a looker. So very pretty. We get the hooded variety in our yard.

  2. I wonder if he plays baseball games like the other “birds” in Baltimore???

  3. Such a beautiful bird! I don’t think we would have a Baltimore Oriole in the Ozarks, but wish we did! We have plenty of those pesky tent caterpillars, in our trees, that they could eat!

  4. What a fine, close-up shot of the oriole! Shows his colorful body feathers and with his head turned back to side view, one can see a sharp-focused eye with a bright catch-light. Yes, keep him coming around ~ ~ ~

  5. GORGEOUS! We have Oriole’s too….I think it is a different variety? They come this time of year and then leave in the fall. I love them.

  6. We were graced by the presence one year of a female orchard oriole. I fed her grape jelly and she camped on our deck the entire winter. When Spring came she built this fantastic long nest that sort of looked like a horn of plenty. She built right in the Black Walnut tree where there was a supply of tiny green worms. I never saw any baby birds and her nest may have been a decoy. I nailed a pie tin to the deck rail for the grape jelly and the mockingbirds also ate it. I had one little chickadee who got stuck in it. I had to pick him up and try to wash the jelly off. That was one mad bird!

  7. My father buys green grapes just for the robins and mockingbirds in his yard. They will hop and fuss at him if he is slow to ptt the treats out. Can you say “spoiled”? :)

  8. Yes, he is beautiful. Pat D. we do have them here in MO but they are just flitting through. I do not see them every year but a friend, who puts out the oranges, will have them come right up to her deck. Maybe I should try that. Thanks, Terry, for the beautiful picture and the reminder of what awaits us if we will watch. Great selection of chicks. We are almost ready for a couple more here.

  9. We got our first one yesterday too, here on Cape Cod. They always show up around Mother’s Day.
    Ours are grape jelly junkies. Less expensive than oranges, but not as pretty..

  10. This is the first I’ve heard about grape jelly feeders! I planted four grapevines last year, so the Orioles will have whole grapes to eat. But, the grape jelly that I make will be for me, not them :)

  11. We don’t use a feeder to present the jelly – a heavy ceramic dish will do, like the kind that goes under flower pots.

  12. I feed the Orioles grape jelly melted in a little warm water to make a syrup…they love it, cant keep my homemade feeder filled , they will let you know when the feeder is empty…Such a beautiful voice they have !

  13. At the end of the day, yes, there will be a few big ol’ ant carcasses in there, but it’s not bad. We never see the tiny sugar-seeking kind around the dish, not sure why. We put the dish on the deck railing. And Barb is right, when the dish is empty, the orioles will let you know!

  14. Sometimes chickadees will try it out and become jelly junkies too.
    You’ll be buying giant jars of store-brand cheapo jelly before you know it.

  15. He’s beautiful. Maybe he has a mate in the area and you’ll be able to see some young Orioles in a while. It’s fun to see them learning to feed.

    Grape jelly. Hunh. Never heard of that before. Maybe I’ll give that a try. I take half of the bee-guards off the hummingbird feeders in April for the arrival of our Hooded Orioles. They like the sugar water, but between the three or so of them and the 20-ish hummers, I go through about 2 cups of sugar a day.