Baltimore Oriole Migration in the Southeast

Our first reader question has arrived! Carol from Northern Kentucky asks: Can you tell me when is the proper time

Our first reader question has arrived! Carol from Northern Kentucky asks:

Can you tell me when is the proper time to put out orange slices for Baltimore Orioles?

To find the answer to this question, I consulted eNature.com’s regional birder page for the Southeast. The Spring Migration page offers a list of when migrating birds return to the region, and they list Baltimore Orioles as making a first appearance between April 1 and April 30.

However, the Southeast region is a big one, and it can be weeks between when someone in Georgia might see an oriole and when someone in Kentucky finally spots that welcome flash of orange. I clicked through to the migration map (shown to the right; click the map to see it full-size), and found that in Northern Kentucky, a date of April 16 – 30 is more likely.

To catch the earliest migrators and lure them straight to your yard, you’ll want to have to have food out a little before they’re expected. In Northern Kentucky, start putting out your orange slices and jelly feeders by mid-April. Readers in other regions can consult the map and choose a time that’s right for their area.

If you’re an avid birder and want to help others learn about when birds arrive in your area, consider reporting your sightings through Journey North’s website. They track a variety of species and provide detailed maps to help bird-lovers know when to expect birds based on others’ experiences. Click here to visit Journey North’s Oriole page.

Of course, you can help birders throughout the Southeast by dropping a note right here in our comments to let us know if you’ve spotted Baltimore Orioles yet this spring. Also, look for detailed information on the Baltimore Oriole in this weekend’s Focus on Natives segment!

Do you have a question about birds, butterflies, or gardening in the Southeast? Drop a note in the comments and look for an answer in an upcoming post!

Jill Staake
Jill lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes about gardening, butterflies, outdoor projects and birding. When she's not gardening, you'll find her reading, traveling and happily digging her toes into the sand on the beach.