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Orchard Oriole - Vibrant and Elusive Visitor

Article and photos by Charly Mann

Orchard Orioles are one of the most distinctive and elusive birds in Oklahoma. Even though they often live close to open fields, they spend most of their time in nearby trees or near the ground strategically hidden in tall grass. I often catch glimpses of these birds, but they usually quickly disappear into a tree or dense vegetation before I can get close enough to take a photograph.

Orchard Oriole close-up
Orchard Oriole in late May 2009 outside of Bartlesville

Male Orchard Orioles have bluish a black head, back wings, and back. Most of the rest of their body is a vibrant chestnut brown. Their feathers are edged with white, and they have a thin white wing bar. Female Orchard Orioles look very different from males. They are olive-green on top, and greenish yellow below. They have light brownish wings with two white wing bars. Females are often hard to distinguish from several other species of similar looking birds including warblers.

Female Orchard Oriole
Female Orchard Oriole from July 1010. Sitting next to her on this fence were three of her newborn.

Orchard Orioles are the smallest oriole in North America measuring only 6 inches in length.

Orchard Oriole profile
Orchard Oriole sitting in a small grove of trees by a cow pasture 

Orchard Orioles primarily eat grasshoppers crickets, beetles, and spiders, but also enjoy seeds and flower nectar.

Orchard Oriole up close
Male Orchard Oriole looking for insects

Orchard Orioles are only temporary visitors to North America. They live most of the year, from August through April in Central America and northwestern South America. They migrate at night, and part of their journey requires them to cross over the Gulf of Mexico.



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Kim      1:27 AM Mon 7/11/2016

I just took a picture of what i was told is a female Orchard Oriole and i live in NY. This pretty gal is way off course,

Koji      10:56 AM Thu 10/15/2015

Hi,I own an antique/heirloom comiunmty orchard in Maine, and we focus only on heirlooms and select few modern varieties. I am so pleased to see native Maine varieties featured in your collection!Orange sweet is an amazing summer apple. It is an antique apple from my state of Maine. The original tree still stands near Farmington, Maine. It is my favorite apple in august, and has many characteristics that breeders try to bring out in their modern summer apples, but seem to fall short.Perfect for fresh eating: dry fine tender yellowish flesh has a substantial crunch to it. Rich sweet flavor and crisp texture are rare for a summer apple. Hangs 1-2 weeks when ripe, also rare for an early apple.(wondering if your climate produces similar result?).I only have grafts growing of Orange sweet. no fruiting age trees yet. Orange sweet is a great summer apple that receives little attention for a variety with so many good qualities rarely found in sweet summer apples. Too bad its rarely grown besides a few trees or limited to home orchards.I am also very happy to see you have Starkey, my hometown apple, and many other great historic varieties from Maine.You MUST get Canadian strawberry, black oxford, gray pearmain, sweet Sal, Brock, and winekist .at least to round out your collection. Those are the most valuable for orchardists of the varieties you Don't have from maine. There are many, many others equally as good but those are the varieties above are ones that I have planted for sale for my orchard. Starkey is prominently featured later in the season. I am budding 30 more to end up with about 50-60 trees total. How does it taste in your climate? We will have to fall more later, I absolutely love your collection and website! I hope to visit someday. Maybe we can do a scionwood mail swap for some of the varieties you want ? Hope all is well!Dave http://vwmeje.com [url=http://bmhxlfc.com]bmhxlfc[/url] [link=http://vnsgtavqbut.com]vnsgtavqbut[/link]

Prasant      9:13 AM Wed 10/14/2015

Tes photos sont tre8s<a href="http://mddnblrqxxd.com"> bllees</a>, il est vrai que l'automne est une belle saison, tre8s colore9es!En France, dans le sud nous avons des foreats de che2taigniers chatoyantes,les oliviers ondulent sous le mistral....La nature est magnifique pour celui qui veut la contempler! douce journe9enyn une frane7aise du sud

Safwan      7:42 AM Wed 7/24/2013

Thank you for commenting. Last year, we had Baltimore Orioles stay for a culope weeks, then they disappeared. As we learned about them, we found out they like to use horse hair as a nesting material. About a mile from us are neighbors with horses, so I wondered if that is why they left. As an experiment, I saved my hair and was thrilled it caused the Orioles to stay here. We did have some spats with the birds because they didn't want to share the oranges. They got over it. I searched to see what the Mexican Hair grass looked like and that is pretty.

Mandy      4:22 PM Thu 8/16/2012

I love Orioles! Great pics!

Uplifting Visions
a guide to happiness, good health, and success
Charly Mann in a Hawaiian shirt
by Charly Mann

From the age of seven I have been enchanted with the idea of living happily ever after, and have made it a life quest to find that answer. I have spoken to hundreds of people – usually older and wiser than me, and read countless books and articles on the subject. In my website Uplifting Visions I share what I consider the best insights I have learned about achieving happiness in life.

Oklahoma Birds Listed by Color

House Finch - male (carpodacus mexicanus)
Purple Finch - male (carpodacus purpureus)
Northern Cardinal - male (cardinalis cardinalis)
Painted Bunting - male (passerina ciris)
Summer Tanager - male (piranga rubra)

Baltimore Oriole - male (icterus galbula)
Orchard Oriole - male (icterus spurius)

Yellow Warbler (dendroica petechia )
Baltimore Oriole - female (icterus galbula)
Orchard Oriole - female (icterus spurius)
Summer Tanager - female (piranga rubra)
Yellow Goldfinch - male (carduelis tristis)
Western Kingbird (tyrannus verticalis)
Eastern Meadowlark (sturnella magna)

Malard - male (anas platyrhynchos)
Dark-eyed Junco - female (junco hyemalis)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (archilochus colubris)
Painted Bunting - female (passerina ciris)
Green Heron (butorides virescens)

Barn Swallow (hirundo rustica)
Belted Kingfisher (ceryle alcyon)
Blue Jay (cyanocitta cristata)
Blue Grosbeak - male (guiraca caerulea)
Eastern Bluebird (sailia sialis)
Indigo Bunting - male (passerina cyanea)
Purple Martin - male (progne subis)

Great Blue Heron (ardea herodias)
Carolina Chickadee (poecile carolinensis)
Eastern Screech-Owl (otus asio)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (sitta canadensis)
Grey Catbird (dumetella carolinensis)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (regulus calendula)
Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher (tyrannus forficatus)
White-breasted Nuthatch (sitta carolinensis)
Tufted Titmouse (baelophus bicolor)
American Robin (turdus migratorius)
Northern Mockingbird (mimus polyglottos)
Mississippi Kite (ictinia mississippiensis)
Dickcissel (spiza americana)

American Crow (corvus brachyrhynchos)
Brown-headed Cowbird - male (molothrus ater)
European Starling (sturnus vulgaris)
Common Grackle (quiscalus quiscula)
Red-winged Blackbird - male (agelaius phoeniceus)
Spotted Towhee (pipilo maculatus)
Turkey Vulture (cathartes aura)

Black & White
American Bald Eagle (haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Black-billed Magpie (pica hudsonia)
Downey Woodpecker (picoides pubescens)
Red-Bellied Woodpecker (melanerpes carolinus)
Purple Martin - female (progne subis)
Eastern Kingbird (tyrannus tyrannus)
Dark-eyed Junco - male (junco hyemalis)
Loggerhead Shrike (lanius ludovicianus)

American Kestrel (falco sparverius)
Blue Grosbeak - female (guiraca caerulea)
Brown-headed Cowbird - female (molothrus ater)
Brown Thrasher (toxostoma rufum)
Common Nighthawk (chordeiles minor)
Carolina Wren (thryothorus ludovicianus)
Cedar Waxwing (bombycilla cedrorum)
Greater Roadrunner (geococcyx californianus)
Killdeer (charadrius vociferus)
Northern Bobwhite (colinus virginianus)
Red-tailed Hawk (buteo jamaicensis)
Cliff Swallow (petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Horned Lark (eremophila alpestris)
House Finch - female (carpodacus mexicanus)
Northern Flicker (colaptes auratus)
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (coccyzus americanus)
Mourning Dove (zenaida macroura)
Malard - female (anas platyrhynchos)
Purple Finch - female (carpodacus purpureus)
House Sparrow (passer domesticus)
Indigo Bunting - female (passerina cyanea)
Red-winged Blackbird - female (agelaius phoeniceus)
Spotted Sandpiper (actitis macularia)
Upland Sandpiper (bartramia longicauda)
Northern Cardinal - female (cardinalis cardinalis)
Eastern Screech-Owl (otus asio)
Yellow Goldfinch - female (carduelis tristis)
Canada Goose (branta canadensis)

Wild Birds of Northeast OK

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