How to Identify Baby Orioles and Juvenile Orioles

Spring is here, and it's almost time to look for bird nests and baby birds. Learn what a baby oriole and juvenile oriole looks like.

baby Baltimore orioleCourtesy Marybeth Zilnicki
Baby Baltimore oriole

What Does a Baby Oriole Look Like?

You may be familiar with orioles’ unique woven nests, but most people have never seen a baby oriole because orioles are secretive during nesting season. Wow, they are cute!

Birds & Blooms reader Marybeth Zilnicki says, “I have been attracting and feeding Baltimore orioles in my backyard. I watched them build the nest in a tree over my porch. Once the baby orioles were born, I watched both parents feed and take care of them. I was lucky to see them leave the nest and this little guy (above) settle on my fence. I loved how the feathers looked and how my tree reflected in his eye.”

Young male Baltimore orioles have a yellowish-orange breast, gray on the head and back, and white wing bars.

Learn how to identify oriole eggs.

What Do Baby Orioles Eat?

If orioles are nesting in your yard, the reward comes when they bring their young to your feeders. During the breeding season, orioles focus on more protein-rich food, foraging mostly for insects to feed their young. But once the young orioles have fledged, the parents frequently bring them to visit feeders. To see baby orioles, we suggest that you keep tabs on when the parents disappear, give it three to four weeks, and begin offering food again, including oranges, sugar water and grape jelly. You may be rewarded with visits from the parents and the youngsters!

Check out more super cute photos of baby birds.

Bnbbyc18 Heather KruseCourtesy Heather Kruse
Juvenile Baltimore oriole

Juvenile Baltimore Oriole

Females and first-year males don’t have bright orange plumage like adult male Baltimore orioles. Juveniles tend to be more dull, with yellow-brown feathers.

“I took this photo of a male juvenile Baltimore oriole in my backyard in the summertime. They are so beautiful and are one of my favorite birds to watch,” says reader Heather Kruse.

Discover 8 surprising Baltimore oriole facts.

baby orchard orioleCourtesy Randy Walcik
Juvenile male orchard oriole

Juvenile Orchard Oriole

Randy Walnik of Midland, Michigan, shared this photo (above) of a juvenile male orchard oriole. In their first year, male orchard orioles look like females, sporting yellow-green feathers. Sometime that fall, they develop a black mask.

Learn how to attract orioles to your backyard.

juvenile orchard orioleCourtesy Kelly Schmitz

Juvenile orchard orioles look like the bird (above) for the next 12 months. In the fall of their second year, they molt their feathers again, finally donning their rich chestnut and black mature feathers.

Check out the 8 types of orioles to look for in North America.

Lori Vanover
Lori has 20 years of experience writing and editing home, garden, birding and lifestyle content for several publishers. As Birds & Blooms senior digital editor, she leads a team of writers and editors sharing birding tips and expert gardening advice. Since joining Trusted Media Brands 13 years ago, she has held roles in digital and print, editing magazines and books, curating special interest publications, managing social media accounts, creating digital content and newsletters, and working with the Field Editors—Birds & Blooms network of more than 50 backyard birders. Passionate about animals and nature, Lori has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural and Environmental Communications from the University of Illinois. In 2023, she became certified as a Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener, and she is a member of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology and sits on the organization's Publications Advisory Committee. She frequently checks on her bird feeders while working from home and tests new varieties of perennials, herbs and vegetable plants in her ever-growing backyard gardens.