Orchard and Baltimore Orioles

Well, I’ve finally done it! We’ve had a few orioles tease us each spring with their presence at our grape jelly feeders. But this year, the motherload! It takes awhile to attract these beauties, but don’t give up.

When I wandered through my kitchen, I glanced out at the deck and saw about a dozen orioles at the feeder. I could hardly believe it. Of course, I grabbed my camera and tried to get close, but I startled them.

Later that day, I was able to capture this pic of a few gathered around again. The one on the top of the yard lamp is the Orchard Oriole – notice the darker, more rusty color on the breast? The others are Baltimore Orioles – one on the pole of the lamp is the male and the one eating the orange is the female.

orchard oriole | baltimore oriole | birdsandbloomsblog.com | paula bonelli | midwest regional reporter

We put out orange halves and sugar water for them.  They go ape over the grape jelly! I think the combo above did it. They love oranges, grape jelly and water. I really didn’t plan that; I was looking for a quick way to get some food out for them. Best time to attract them is in the spring.

Find out more about the oriole family and how to bring them to your yard: Attracting Orioles

  1. Justin Freeman says

    I believe you have mistakenly identified an immature male Baltimore as an Orchard in the picture above. An Orchard Oriole is much smaller than a Baltimore and would be very easy to distinguish from the other two. These three appear to be the same size and therefore I believe the same species.

    • Paula says

      I’ll keep watching, Justin. The distinct rusty color of the Orchard Oriole (the pic doesn’t show very well) and the fact that the immature male Baltimore doesn’t get his male plummage until the 2nd fall leads me to believe otherwise. Also, the Orchard has been around the yard in a solitary manner which is also a habit of this variety.

  2. margaret says

    Love my orioles, this morning one flew into my window twice while I was sitting at
    desk. It wanted to let me know they were out of jelly. As soon as I filled it I had five orioles eating.

  3. Donna says

    We also have been teased by them , but, this year , we have gotten them to stay. The grape jelly is the one they like the best. But they really are a timid bird, as I would love to just sit out and listen to them.

  4. Peggy Specht says

    I have also had the Great Pleasure of seeing these birds in my backyard and have captured some Beautiful shots of them this Spring,I am trying my best to keep them around but I have found that other birds eat the jelly before I get to see a Oriole at them.

  5. Marilyn says

    This is my third year with Baltimore Oriole’s. I’m been lucky to have them nest in the backyard. So far one nest this year, last year I had 2 nests. Of course, way too high to see inside them. Mine too, love the grape jelly.

    • Paula says

      I have mine in small glass dishes. One I have on a small holder that is mounted on my fence. But the other is just sitting in a tray feeder I made with the saucer from a clay pot.

  6. Jan says

    I may get one Oriole in the Spring, but this year I have had 4 males and 2 females, plus an Ordchard Oriole came by too. Only saw him once. Had never seen one before. they have been eating oranges and grape jelly. I put out 2 oranges a day.

  7. Jamie says

    My parents get Baltimore Orioles too. We just got a couple new feeders that holds two orange slices and two bowls of grape jelly and they are having a good time with those feeders. I got a picture of a male oriole at it too.

    • Paula says

      Awesome, Jamie! Did you make your feeders or buy them? I keep describing something similar to my hubby so he’ll make me one :-). I’m looking for an example….

  8. Donna says

    I wonder what’s up with the orchard orioles this year. I have never had them in my yard(over thirty years), yesterday I had two! Baltimores are regulars. It was water that seemed to be attracting them here.

    • Paula says

      Yes, I agree Donna. Never have I seen an Orchard Oriole either. And I had water nearby that they were definitely attracted to.

  9. Elizabeth says

    In the past I was lucky to have two or three orioles come for just a few days. This year!!! I am overwhelmed! I think all the Baltimore Orioles in southwest Michigan are in my yard eating me out of oranges, grape jelly and nectar. I love it! Also for the first time in the 20 years we have lived here we have had for over a week 4 Indigo Buntings. The Rose breasted grosbeaks have been staying longer, too. I think the messed up weather has a lot to do with it.

    • Paula says

      I think you’re right, Elizabeth. We’re experiencing the exact same thing. They must have all been REALLY hungry and made unscheduled stops to our feeders on their way through. So glad we had our feeders out, huh? And like you, can barely keep up. Love it!

  10. Donna Dunbar says

    I put 2 tiny humming bird feeders on suction cups on my dining room window. I have had the pleasure of dozens of “hummer’s” visiting from dawn to dusk. Today, however we had an Oriole hanging from the feeder gulping down the nectar…what a sight !!! She looked giagantic compared to the black chinned humming birds that are usually there. I missed the opportunity to get a pic, but will keep my eyes open for her return. I think it was an orchard oriole.

    • Paula says

      I’ve had the same thing happen – isn’t it funny watching them trying to eat from this small feeder? Silly things! And I have a nectar feeder for the Orioles, but they seem to prefer my hummer feeders. Go figure.

  11. janet carlson says

    I agree with Elizabeth too – I think it’s our cool, wet weather making the birds extra hungry. I’ve had orioles and rose breasted gross beaks for over two weeks now and I do not get them every year in Northern Illinois. I’m loving it! Tomorrow I will put out grape jelly along with the oranges

  12. Mar says

    I too am fortunate to have both Baltimore and Orchard Orioles in my yard in Northern Minnesota. I put out both an Oriole and a Humming Bird feeder, as well as an orange and a container of grape jelly. Between the Orioles and the Gold Finches the yard is full of color all day. The finches love the orange too and the Humming Birds seem to prefer the Oriole feeder to theirs. I live in the country by a lake and the air is full of birds singing from morning to night. I love it.

  13. Mar says

    To feed grape jelly I use the top of old glass top candles. I saw the idea in Birds and Blooms. Works great.

  14. Carol Whitcomb says

    We are truely blessed this year, we have Hummingbirds, Baltimore Orioles, Rose Breasted Gross Beak and this year we have a new addition Indigo Bunting. What
    a joy to see God’s little creatures up close. Oh and we have nine rabbits running around the yard this year too, needless to say it doesn’t do much for the blooms but they are fun to watch and feed. They are tame , they run free, the neighbors enjoy them too. We are northwest of Harrison, MI (Leota) Edge of Huron National Forrest.

  15. Julie Huggins says

    I have an Orchard Oriole nest in pecan tree in my back yard which is connected to my pasture. I kept seeing the male and I had never seen hear before so I watched him and then I could have swore him and a yellowish bird were going to the same spot on a low limb. So I walked out and there was a roundish basket type nest made of grasses. So I went in and looked it up and it was them. I will put out jelly as soon as possible!

  16. Cheri Hall says

    FYI Menards sells a very nice Oriole feeder. It has a little removable glass cup for the grape jelly and a place to put an orange half. It has a copper dome over it to protect it from the rain. I just bought one last weekend and have tons of birds already!

  17. Linda says

    I was fortunate to have a pair of Orioles nesting in my back yard. They had three babies for sure leave the nest on July 4th, but after a day, I have not seen them. I had put out oranges, and some grape jelly on our septic lids, but they never seemed to find them. In the mean time, I finally found an Oriaole feeder, but may be too late. Is that the nature of these birds, to nest, and when young are ready to fly, start migration again?

  18. Cyndy says

    I too had orioles for the first time this year and since the first week in July have not seen them at all… have they moved on do you think?

  19. christine says

    I just saw my first orchard oriole today (male and female)..among the many balitomore orioles I have..went thru 2 jars of grape jelly in 2 days! Also, I have a scarlet tanager~ Fireworks all day long..so beautiful! (Blaine, MN)

  20. sue says

    I have a very slim almost black bird with a rust color around his neck at the oriole feeder and cannot identify him smaller and slimmer than a blackbird and loves the grape jelly more than the orange any ideas he is not in the bird book I have….


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