8 Surprising Facts About Orioles

Learn a few facts about orioles, some of spring's most gorgeous birds.

1. It usually takes female orioles about a week to build a nest, but in bad weather, it can take as long as 15 days.

2. The Baltimore and Bullock’s oriole were considered the same species until the 1990s, when genetic testing helped separate them.

3. Many fruit growers think of orioles as pests, because, with their love of sweet treats, they can wipe out crops. Five fruits you’ll often see them munching are raspberries, crabapples, grapes, mulberries, and cherries.

4. Orioles average about 7 inches long, similar in size to red-wined blackbirds and a good 1 to 3 inches shorter than robins.

5. Adult males are much more brightly colored than females, but the males don’t get their brilliant plumage until their second year.

6. As many as nine different types of orioles will show up in North America, but of those, only five are common: the Bullock’s, Baltimore, hooded, orchard and Scott’s.

7. Females are known for their skill at weaving. They weave a nest about 4 inches deep and 4 inches across, with a small opening at the top about 2 to 3 inches wide.

8. If you want to attract orioles to your backyard, try these three foods:

  • Sugar water
  • Oranges
  • Grape jelly

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