Baltimore Orioles Arrive

Over the last twenty-five years the bird populations have changed a lot. Another new resident arrived this year: Baltimore Orioles.

Baltimore Orioles like hummingbird feeders

Baltimore Orioles are bright orange with orange outer tail feathers. They are summer residents in the Ozarks. This one likes the large hummingbird feeder.

There weren’t many birds here when we moved in. A handful of hummingbirds came by the feeder we set out. Cardinals came for sunflower seeds in the winter.

Mourning doves moved in. Blue jays mobbed the feeder. Now watching the action outside is exciting. The bird guidebook has moved onto the kitchen table.

This year indigo buntings, brown thrashers, downy and red-bellied woodpeckers, chickadees, titmice, cardinals, blue jays, mourning doves, rose breasted grosbeaks, red winged blackbirds, various sparrows and warblers take turns gobbling the sunflower seeds. We’ve added scratch feed and peanut butter to the menu.

The feeder too has changed. Originally it was a platform with two five gallon buckets holding up another platform as a roof. Now the platform is smaller with a wood structure and tin roof protecting it from rain and snow.

Baltimore Orioles take over the feeders

Four pairs of Baltimore Orioles like the hummingbird feeder. They do not like to share. The second oriole had to move to the second feeder.

The hummingbird feeder has changed too. The first held a pint and lasted several days. Now, by late summer, five quart feeders empty daily.

Last year a pair of orchard orioles discovered the sugary treat. It enticed them to stay and nest in the sugar maple in the front yard.

This year the Baltimore Orioles arrived. The first hummingbirds had arrived a few days earlier. They were not impressed with the giants now sitting on their feeder.

A second feeder went up so the oriole could eat at one and the hummingbirds at the other. Then another oriole arrived.

Every morning four pairs of Baltimore Orioles take turns enjoying both the hummingbird feeder and the sunflower seeds. The hummingbirds hover unhappily until the orioles leave.

Baltimore Orioles and hummingbirds

Hummingbirds get chased off by the Baltimore Orioles. Since the orioles sleep late, the hummingbirds mob the feeders early. The orioles often arrive singly taking over one feeder and leaving the others to the hummingbirds. Unlike the orioles, the hummingbirds often sit six or eight at a time on a feeder.

Each hummingbird feeder has eight stations. All eight on both fill up with birds drinking as fast as they can.

When these two feeders empty in a day, another feeder will go up. Otherwise we watch and put it up when the hovering cloud is as big as the feeder customers.

The Baltimore Orioles have been here over a week now. They seem to be taking a look around. We hope they build nests like the orchard oriole which has returned again this year.

Enjoy more about an Ozark spring in Exploring the Ozark Hills.