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Goldy, the Baltimore Oriole

Now on to a bird that causes a lot of excitement in the Spring. Who is a cousin of Sally Sly the Brown-headed Cowbird, but who is a lot more popular: Goldy, the Baltimore Oriole. Baltimore Orioles are members of the Blackbird family, but they certainly contain more vibrant colors than others in their family. Burgess describes Goldy’s feather pattern in detail, “it seemed to Peter that never had he seen any one more beautifully dressed. His head, neck, throat and upper part of his back were black. The lower part of his back and his breast were a beautiful deep orange color. There was a dash of orange on his shoulders, but the rest of his wings were black with an edging of white. His tail was black and orange. Peter had heard him called the Firebird, and now he understood why. His song was quite as rich and beautiful as his coat.” Burgess Bird Book, Living Press, p. 59

Baltimore Orioles cause quite the commotion when they come through every Spring and Fall and people love to put out special feeders for them. Have you seen one? Cornell Lab’s All About Birds give some excellent suggestions if you want to try to attract Orioles to your yard:

Baltimore Orioles seek out ripe fruit. Cut oranges in half and hang them from trees to invite orioles into your yard. Special oriole feeders filled with sugar water supplement the flower nectar that Baltimore Orioles gather. You can even put out small amounts of jelly to attract these nectar-eaters (just don’t put out so much that it risks soiling their feathers). Planting bright fruits and nectar-bearing flowers, such as raspberries, crab apples, and trumpet vines, can attract Baltimore Orioles year after year.

We are going to try to attract them this year and picked up an Oriole feeder from our favorite Birder in the Chicagoland area, The Wild Bird Shack, in Mount Prospect. They come around during tax time every year and hopefully we will have some come to our yard!

My Baltimore Oriole Travel Checkerboard specially made for and available at The Wild Bird Shack (lower right hand corner)

If you are wondering why they are called Baltimore Orioles, look over at the Allaboutbird Overview and see if you can find the answer.

Until next time, keep on birding! <3 Kate

For our Burgess Bird Coloring and Writing pages check here:

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