Orchard Oriole: Dr. J. Murray Speirs

This southern oriole is most likely to be found in Ontario at Pelee, or elsewhere along Lake Erie shores. It is quite rare elsewhere in Ontario. (Miles note: This article was first published in 1985. Orchard Orioles now nest regularly in the Toronto area in spring)

Orchard Oriole (male)

They winter in Central America and northern South America.

Orchard Oriole (juvenile male)

Adult males are brick red, or chestnut, not orange in body plumage, with an all black tail.

Orchard Oriole (male)

Young males are yellowish green with a prominent black throat patch.

Orchard Oriole (juvenile male)

Females look like the young males but lack the throat patch:

Orchard Oriole (female)

They are coloured somewhat like female Scarlet Tanagers but have a more pointed bill and have white wing bars.

Scarlet Tanager (female) photo: National Audubon Society

The song is longer than that of the Baltimore Oriole and lacks the loud, sweet whistles of that species.

Orchard Oriole (male)

When I heard an immature male at Lowbanks, near Lake Erie, on May 22, 1937, I wrote down its song as “chee-chee hee-chee he-che-che hee-chee ha-brrr-chee-oo”. The somewhat buzzy, descending ending is characteristic.

Orchard Oriole (male)
Orchard Oriole (male)

Dr. J. Murray Speirs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.