If you enjoy backyard birds and live in the eastern half of North America, then you should keep your eyes peeled for Baltimore Orioles. If you don’t have an oriole feeder, and haven’t seen one of these birds, you need to consider getting a quality oriole feeder.
Can’t I Just Use My Hummingbird Feeder?
This is a common misconception. Yes, orioles like nectar. And yes, the oriole feeder does resemble a hummingbird feeder. But, an oriole feeder is specially designed to serve an oriole. Instead of being red, they are orange and have a larger perch. The nectar available for orioles typically has a citrus flavor.
You may attract some orioles to your yard with a hummingbird feeder, but if you want to keep them there, get an oriole feeder.
Oriole Feeder is Up, Now What?
Now that you’ve hung your oriole feeder, the next step is listening. “Listening?” you say. Yep, the male hummingbird often gives away his location before you even spot him with your eyes.
Their distinct call is in an irregular pattern. The one underlying chorus is the sound “hew-li.” It’s a loud, flute-like whistle. Once you hear it, be on the lookout.
Males have brilliant orange bodies with black heads. Females may be similar to males, but their heads are typically dark brownish-green, rather than black, and their bodies are a paler orange.
Now You Have Your Oriole Feeder, You’re Just in Need of Some Fun Facts
Your oriole feeder is up and your family gets excited to see these little birds. How do you make the moment even better? By spitting out some unique, interesting oriole facts. You’ll keep your audience interested in the oriole feeder, and you’ll sound like an expert:
- The Baltimore Orioles were not named after the city … directly. The team’s name originated from the fact that their plumage has the colors of the coat-of-arms of Lord Baltimore, whom the city was named after. Lord Baltimore just so happens to be the first proprietary governor of Maryland. If you want to take it even further: his first expedition to the colonies consisted of two ships: the Ark and the Dove. So, he sailed to Maryland in a ship named after a bird to then have a bird named after him.
- The Baltimore Orioles were not technically named after the bird. Maryland adopted the Baltimore Oriole as the state bird and the baseball team was named in honor of the official state bird. So, if Maryland would have chosen a dove as their state bird, we’d be rooting for the Baltimore Doves (or not rooting for, if you’re a fan of the Washington Nationals).
- The Baltimore Orioles are sometimes spotted in Western Europe. Scientists aren’t sure how they get there, and if in fact the little birds end up there as a result of getting lost.
- Orioles may appear sweet as pie, but they can be fierce: they use their sharp beaks as weapons and are known to engage enemies mid-air.
Now that you know more about why an oriole feeder is important, and how cool these little birds are, expand your horizons and consider learning more about hummingbird migration. Post written by guest blogger Michelle Anderson.
The bird picture is from http://www.flickr.com/photos/bdhixphotos