Bigger than a sparrow, smaller than a robin, the male of the species sports a distinctive chestnut and black plumage with white wing markings. Females are a subtle greenish yellow with darker wings and two prominent white wing bars. The bill is substantial and pointed.
The Orchard Oriole often travels and even nests in social groups. The species is monogamous, but only during a single breeding season; next year it’s on to a new mate. It gleans many species of insects and spiders and even takes nectar from flowers and sometimes hummingbird feeders. Near migration time the Orchard Oriole will also consume berries and other fruits.
What brings it to the SBG?
Food, cover, and nesting sites. SBG habit includes insect attracting plants, nectar bearing flowers, and fruit bearing plants like the blackberry where this bird was observed in Summer 2014. Preferred nesting tree species are many and include maples, ashes, and willows.
When can I see it?
The window is fairly short for this species. It arrives from Central America late in spring and departs as early as mid-July.