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10 Birds That Look Like Orioles

If you see an orange or yellow bird in your backyard, you might think it’s an oriole. But there are several other birds that look like orioles.

Oriole On The Crab Apple Tree;my Backyard!!Courtesy Tim White
Baltimore oriole on a crabapple tree

Birds That Look Like Orioles

Orioles are beloved backyard birds with their spectacular black and orange or yellow plumage. Birders love to see them during spring migration. You can offer oranges and grape jelly to attract orioles at bird feeders. But next time you think you see an oriole, take a closer look at its field marks and consider its size, song and habitat to help you identify the bird. Several other orange and yellow birds look like orioles. Learn about the 8 types of orioles to look for in North America.

spotted towhee, birds that look like oriolesCourtesy Whitney Reary

Spotted Towhee

“This is a spotted towhee that I saw while hiking at Wind Cave National Park. I was alone on my hike, and had just come around a bend when I happened upon this bird about 5 feet from me. I didn’t scare it away. It just looked at me like it was modeling for the camera shot,” says Whitney Reary. Meet the towhees: The birds scratching up a storm in your backyard.

eastern towheeCourtesy Laura Frazier

Eastern Towhee

“I love to walk around my backyard and see what birds and other wildlife I can find. I have three and a half acres in West Virginia, and the back half is wooded and has a small pond. I get a variety of birds and other wildlife in my yard. During migration, different birds pass through that I don’t normally get to see. The towhee’s song is so beautiful, and I feel very lucky to have them in my backyard every year while the weather is warm,” says Laura Frazier. Check out the 51 best spring bird pictures ever!

american robinCourtesy Dawn Weiss

American Robin

“I took this photo of a robin in the spring of 2016 as it perched on my backyard fence. Many birds were coming to feed at my feeders when this robin stopped in. I enjoy the first signs of spring in Wisconsin, including the spring birds,” says Dawn Weiss. Learn how to attract robins.

western tanagerCourtesy Susan Forde

Western Tanager

“This Western tanager posed patiently, awaiting his time to feed at an orange I put out in an attempt to attract orioles. I was delighted when these colorful songbirds began to grace my yard. They are an all-time favorite as their bright orange-red heads and dazzling yellow bodies contrast with their black wings, back and tail,” says Susan Forde. Feed grape jelly to orioles and tanagers.

barn swalllowCourtesy Erin Brady

Barn Swallow

“I photographed this barn swallow while walking around Legion Lake in Custer State Park in late June. I spend a lot of time in South Dakota during the summer every year, and I always see a lot of barn swallows. I think their complementary colors of blue and orange are so beautiful,” says Erin Brady. Learn to identify 8 types of swallows.

Male Varied ThrushCourtesy Sally Harris

Varied Thrush

“I waited all winter for this noble varied thrush to come close enough for a portrait. The bird skirted the edge of my property, just outside of camera range, searching for food. It wasn’t until a rare snowfall covered its feeding grounds that it came to see what I was serving at my feeders,” says Sally Harris of Carlsborg, Washington. Learn more about the varied thrush: voice of the Northwest.

blackburnian warblerCourtesy Cam Kline

Blackburnian Warbler

This is a tiny orange and black bird that looks like an oriole. “The Blackburnian Warbler is in my opinion one of the most beautiful warblers. I feel like this picture captures the beauty of the bird,” says Cam Kline. Check out 10 spring warblers you should know.

american redstartCourtesy William Canosa

American Redstart

Here’s another warbler that looks a bit like an oriole. “I captured this American redstart during a stroll in Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, Connecticut. I take walks in early morning and try to position myself in a spot where the quality, character and direction of light are in my favor. Then I wait quietly for birds to enter the good light. I use bird photography as a form of meditation, so being patient is actually the easy part,” says William Canosa of Branford, Connecticut. Check out 25 photos of warblers you should add to your life list.

black headed grosbeakCourtesy Mark Schmitt

Black-Headed Grosbeak

Black-headed grosbeaks are another black and orange bird that looks like an oriole. “I captured this picture of a black-headed grosbeak during a soft rain. I love photographing birds on cloudy days when there are fewer shadows to detract from the bird. A migrant species, it’s one of my favorites. Their arrival confirms that winter is over, spring has begun and summer is on its way,” says Mark Schmitt of Wofford Heights, California. Check out 5 grosbeaks backyard birders should know.

evening grosbeakCourtesy Lynda Yosco

Evening Grosbeak

“This evening grosbeak was just passing through our yard. I had never seen one before. I was glad I was able to capture him. His colors are so striking against the background. I just love looking at it.” Learn how to attract blue grosbeaks.

Lori Vanover
Lori Vanover is the senior digital editor for Birds & Blooms. She enjoys growing vegetables in containers and raised beds and watching for birds in her backyard.

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