Eurasian Golden Orioles breed across large parts of Europe and Asia. They are migratory, spending the winter across the southern half of the African continent.
During the breeding season they are usually found in forests. Although male birds are striking with their yellow and black plumage, these are shy birds and are able to blend into their environment and remain undetected. Females and juvenile birds have a duller plumage that constrasts yellowish-green with olive-brown.
The diet of the Eurasian Golden Oriole has a varied diet with an emphasis on insects like caterpillars, cicadas, and dragonflies. They also feed on fruit, berries, seeds, and even nectar. Small prey items like lizards, mice, snails, and worms may also be taken.
If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr) of the Baltimore Oriole. Baltimore Oriole females generally weave their gourd-shaped nests alone, without help from the male. About 4 to 5 eggs are laid, with incubation done solely by the female. The baby orioles hatch about 12 days later, helpless and naked. Both parents feed the nestlings, though the female does all of the brooding.
Oriole Chicks: FEED US!!!! by Northern Community Radio
Oriole Chick: FEED ME!!! by Northern Community Radio
We've been getting more and more birds at our backyard feeders since we moved here in February. Yesterday morning we were delighted to see our first Baltimore Oriole!! He was hanging around all day and he's back today singing his heart out in our backyard. He's probably trying to find a mate to show off our awesome grape jelly that he found. ;) Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to get a good picture of this beautiful bird at our feeder, but it looks something like this:
The Baltimore Oriole is a bright orange and black bird that breeds across North America and migrates south in flocks to Mexico, Central America and northern South America. It is the state bird of Maryland and the Baltimore Orioles Major League Baseball team was named after this bird. Backyard birders can attract these birds with special oriole feeders, which contain the same food as hummingbird feeders, but are designed specifically for orioles: they are orange instead of red and have larger perches. Baltimore Orioles are also fond of halved oranges and grape jelly.
Photo by JD
This bird received its name from the fact that the male's colors resemble those on the coat-of-arms of Lord Baltimore. When George Calvert, an English politician and coloniser of the New World, visited Chesapeake Bay in 1628, he saw the bird for the first time and was so pleased by its colors that he adopted them as his own. Later Linnaeus named the species the Baltimore Oriole because its colors were those of the Calverts.
I hope we'll be able to get these beautiful birds in our backyard this year. We'll certainly put out some oranges for them.
Photo by Larry & Teddy Page
(thanks to Lori Larson for these nice oriole photos that we found on Flickr)