Oriole’s Odd Nest


I guess what is odd about it is how hard it was to find. The nest we found was so well concealed that the Orioles spent little time chasing away intruders. A male Red-winged Blackbird landed within ten feet of the nest, and the male Oriole did not even flinch from its perch.


Baltimore Orioles feed high in the trees, searching for insects, flowers, and fruit. They are easily heard and can be found from their distinctive calls. The nests on the other hand, are very hard to locate if woven as shown above. Some hang freely, sock-like from tree branches and are easily seen. An experienced birder showed my friend and I where this nest was located. WE would not have found it on our own as it was so well hidden.


The nests are made from thin fibers of hair, grass, twine, grapevine, and other fibrous material. All are laid in by poking the beak in and out, securing in the pieces.


The male defends the nest, chasing off those that get too close. Watching birds is a way to learn about behaviors.


Most Orioles will nest most frequently in Elm, Maple and Cottonwood.


The males are a brightly colored bird, similar to the male Cardinal. Unlike other brightly colored fruit-eating birds, they prefer only ripe, dark-colored fruit like dark cherries and deep purple grapes.

My birding friends suggested Welch’s Concord Grape Jelly, saying they tried other cheaper brands and the Orioles turned up their beaks at the offering. I myself got them in the garden with fruit I cut up, like fresh dark red grapes and dried cherries. I also had cut up oranges, apples and bananas. The wildlife really enjoys what I offer them other than the hulled seed they eat all winter.

I did get the jelly and found it brought in Orioles quite easily. I halved an orange and scooped out the orange to make an orange cup to fill with jelly. In my feeder, I placed the orange bits in the feeder cups as well.


Baltimore Oriole populations are in decline throughout their range with Canada experiencing over a 3 percent loss per year. (source) My post, Keep the Faith Feathered Friends, touched on the importance of the role we play in the loss of other creatures.

See you tomorrow and I hope those of you celebrating Memorial Day have a nice day of remembrance.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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25 Responses to Oriole’s Odd Nest

  1. I love the Baltimore Orioles. I think they are fond of orchards, too. We usually see them this time of year, and I have gotten a few photographs of them, but they seem to leave the area soon, too, like August.

  2. alesiablogs says:

    My neighbors have an enormous cottonwood tree ( I really do not like it because it sheds and really needs pruning) but it does have lots of robins all around it!! Love the pics you have in this post.

  3. I learn so much from your posts. Plus, the photo eye-candy is such a delight. Being a Westerner, so many species you photograph are new to me, yet common for where you live…that Baltimore Oriole is a real gem.

  4. 1dreamingirl says:

    Nice photos! Beautiful birds with beautiful sounds. We’ve had a pair in our yard for the past four summers and I had nearly thought they nested elsewhere this year, then noticed the male defending the nest. Hackberry trees are a common nest tree in Kansas. I think they like feeding from our mulberry trees. πŸ™‚

  5. It’s a shame that the populations of such a beautiful bird are in decline.
    Shots: amazing! πŸ™‚

  6. viewing your posts is always a delight!
    i thought of you last week when i was in the cloud forest, and the milkweed was blooming!


  7. swo8 says:

    What lovely pictures. I don’t think I’ve seen an Oriole before here in Canada and we’re not that far away.

  8. acuriousgal says:

    I looooove the Orioles, please send them here!!πŸ‘πŸ‘. Great post, as always!!

  9. debsgarden says:

    That nest certainly is well hidden! The Oriole is a beautiful bird. I don’t think I have seen one here, though our Eastern Towhee reminds me of them. As always, your photos are outstanding.

  10. Sherrie Cooper says:

    Your photos and words are most magnificent ! Links to bird sounds would be helpful for us on one of your blogs…

    Sent from the official iPad of Sherrie-Lynn International.


  11. bittster says:

    Cool nest. I’ve always heard about their hanging nests but never actually saw one, it’s amazing to think they can build something like that with just fibers and a beak!

  12. Very cool! That nest shows great workmanship.

  13. That nest is a work of art! Your photos are stunning.

  14. My Heartsong says:

    Yes, they are quite the architects, aren’t they? I have not seen a Baltimore Oriole in years so appreciating your great photos of them. Thanks for sharing your interests in the birds and bird behaviour.

  15. Victor Ho says:

    These woven nests look so much harder to build than the usual ‘robin’ style.I’m amazed at how even a brightly colored bird blends in with the bushes until you hear its call. As usual you got some great bird shots. I’d have tried for a shot when the parent paused and perched just as it was entering the nest. …or just as it left and flew down and away. That’s the tricky one.

  16. Wow – what beautiful images and interesting reading too! I will enjoy browsing your posts ….. so glad to find you, Eileen.

  17. Me again ! Having just explored your blog a bit ….. your photography is superb and a joy to view. Thank you also for the Photography Tips post, which I will make much use of.

  18. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    Long time no see – a real treat to view your Orioles (and your brilliant photography has taken even more mammoth strides)

  19. Annette says:

    How beautiful your oriole is! Ours is yellow and black and they’re very vocal but hard to see (like most birds for that matter). Never saw their nest but yours reminds me a little of those the weaver birds make in Africa. Very beautiful and well disguised!

  20. Jean says:

    Love those oriole bird shots. There are certain birds I see less of in Calgary ie. blue jays, cardinals, etc.

  21. Wow it is camouflaged pretty well. May I just say that first shot of the Oriole with those white blooms is just stunning.

  22. Such a gorgeous bird, beautifully captured.

  23. A.M.B. says:

    They are such beautiful birds! Great pictures.

  24. Well I am glad then that I have so many visiting our garden…i would love to see a nest up close….I suspect they are nesting in the cottonwood trees behind us as that is the direction they fly.

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