Plumage/Description: Males are brilliant black, orange and white in color. The orange color extends from the face, down the breast, belly, and under tail. A thin black line extends from the beak, through the eye to the nape of the nape. The crown, nape, back and wings are black. A large white patch on the wings is diagnostic. Female plumage is a softer orange, more yellow in color than orange. The head and breast is yellow, and the belly is white. Prominent white wing bars on gray wings. Tail is yellow in color.
Habitat: Before and after breeding activity occurs this species can be fairly widespread in a variety of different habitat types. When they settle down to build their nests they gravitate towards riparian habitats and deciduous trees.
Time of year: Spring, summer resident.
Relative Abundance: Common in appropriate season.
Behavior: Orioles will frequent backyards to drink sugar water out hummingbird feeders, as well as oriole feeders. Very skittish, not tolerant of human activity near feeding areas. Spooks easily.
Diet: Insects, nectar, sugar water, mealworms, grape jelly.
Similar species: Scott’s and Hooded Orioles. Many inexperienced birders confuse orioles with Black-headed Grosbeaks, and sometimes even with Spotted Towhees. There is a significant difference in the beak structure between orioles, grosbeaks, and towhees, so be sure and study the beak.
Best Sites: Residential neighborhoods, Willow Lake (Heritage) Park, Granite Creek Park, Watson Woods.