03.11.18: Orchard Oriole

An Orchard Oriole perches on a tree branch in Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio. 


Technical information

April 27, 2008,
10:09 a.m.

40°6’50” N,
82°57'30" W
(Show in Google Maps)

Canon EOS 40D

Canon EF 600mm f/4L, Canon 1.4x teleconverter (840mm)  


1/800th second


When people hear the word “oriole” they think of the flashy bright orange and black Baltimore Oriole.

But there’s another oriole that shares almost all the Baltimore Oriole’s range in the eastern U.S. It’s the Orchard Oriole, less flashy than it’s Baltimore cousin but still an attractive, interesting bird.

The male Orchard Oriole has rich reddish-chestnut feathers surrounded by black instead of the bright orange found on the Baltimore Oriole. The Orchard Oriole is about an inch shorter than the Baltimore Oriole.

I see Orchard Orioles in local parks here in Central Ohio for about a month late in the spring. The birds migrate north in late spring for a short breeding season, then head south immediately. Some return to their wintering grounds in Central America as early as mid July.

Orchard Orioles search the tops of trees for insects. They also drink nectar from flowers, which makes Orchard Orioles a pollinator for some tropical plant species. The bird’s head gets dusted with pollen as it feeds. That pollen gets transferred from flower to flower. 

I found this Orchard Oriole in a tree in Sharon Woods Metro Park, bouncing from limb to limb in search of insects. It paused for a moment and I was able to get a photo.

Each week I will post a photo from my collection with an explanation of how I got the shot. Previous photos of the week are in the archives.