The Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius) is a small, vibrant songbird that breeds in eastern North America. These birds measure around 6.3 to 7.1 inches in length and weigh between 0.3 to 0.5 ounces. Males and females have strikingly different appearances, with the male sporting a brilliant orange plumage with a black head, wings, and tail, while the female is yellow-green with darker wings and tail. Both sexes have a sharply pointed bill and white wing bars.
During migration, Orchard Orioles travel to Central America and northern South America, where they spend the winter months. They typically begin their migration in April, returning to their breeding grounds in May and June. These birds are known for their acrobatic abilities, and they can often be seen hanging upside down to reach their preferred food sources.
The Orchard Oriole inhabits orchards, gardens, and wooded areas with deciduous trees. They build their nests in the branches of trees, usually in the outer canopy. The female constructs the nest from grasses, plant fibers, and other materials, and the male occasionally helps with the process.
In addition to their unique appearance, the Orchard Oriole has a distinctive voice. Their song is a series of short, clear notes, followed by a trill. They also make a variety of calls, including a sharp, metallic chip and a harsh churr.
Although the Orchard Oriole is still a common sight in many areas, their population has declined in recent years due to habitat loss and fragmentation. Efforts to preserve their natural habitat, such as reforestation and the creation of wildlife corridors, are critical to ensuring their survival.