Best time to travel to Maryland

Baltimore Oriole in Maryland 2024

Attracted by fruits and nectar, these birds are often spotted in the gardens

Best time: April–September

Baltimore Oriole

The state bird of Maryland and the mascot for the Baltimore Orioles baseball team, the Baltimore oriole is a very common bird in the Eastern United States. The population is estimated at about 12 million birds. It's known for its dramatic orange and black plumage, which makes the bird quite easy to identify. It's also easy to hear a Baltimore oriole. These birds are fantastic singers, a joy to have in a garden.

Over the summer, Baltimore orioles can be spotted in most states on the Atlantic coast and east of the Great Plains. With the first signs of fall, the birds head south to their wintering grounds in Florida, Costa Rica, and Central America. In the spring, they return to North America and can be spotted in Louisiana, Texas, and South Carolina. Baltimore orioles breed in the eastern part of North America, from Louisiana through central Canada. Their babies hatch in June and mature in July.

The oriole likes to make nests on large trees in open areas (they favor maples, sycamore, birches, cherry, and oaks). They like to live in ecotones such as the edges of forests near streams. In August, Baltimore orioles start migrating south, which makes it easier to spot them. Migration continues through September and by mid-October, most birds reach tropical regions.

Baltimore orioles can be attracted in gardens by grape jam, jelly, or orange halves. They feed on nectar from tubular flowers and insects such as caterpillars, beetles, larvae, and grasshoppers. In Maryland, you can spot Baltimore orioles at Audrey Carroll Audubon Sanctuary in Mt. Airy and Fred Archibald Wildlife Sanctuary in New Market. Both sanctuaries feature miles of trails through meadows, streams, and forests, the perfect habitat for the orioles.

Practical info

When is the best time to spot Baltimore orioles in Maryland?

One can spot Baltimore orioles in Maryland from April to September. These birds migrate to Florida and Central America by mid-October. In the spring, they head back north to North America where they can be found in Louisiana, Texas, and South Carolina. Show more

What is the habitat of Baltimore orioles?

Baltimore orioles prefer nesting on tall trees in open areas. They especially like maple, oak, cherry, sycamore, and birch trees. They can also live in edges of forests near streams. Look for these birds in Maryland, Midwest, Virginia, Delaware, North and South Carolina, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Ontario, Washington, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. Show more

Where can I find Baltimore orioles in North America, other than Maryland?

Apart from Maryland, one can see Baltimore orioles in Louisiana, Texas, and South Carolina during the spring, where they head north to North America. During summer, they can be found in most states on the Atlantic coast and east of the Great Plains. They then migrate south to Florida, Costa Rica, and Central America for winter. Show more

How can I attract Baltimore orioles to my garden?

You can attract Baltimore orioles to your garden by offering grape jam, jelly, or orange halves. They also feed on insects like caterpillars, beetles, larvae, and grasshoppers. They like to feed on nectar from tubular flowers. Nesting materials, water sources, and tall trees like oak or maple can also help you attract them. Show more

What do Baltimore orioles eat, other than fruits, nectar, and insects?

Besides fruits, nectar, and insects, Baltimore orioles rarely feed on seeds and grains since their beaks are not suited for cracking them. During winter when fruits are scarce, they may occasionally feed on nuts and suet. Show more

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