Understanding the Baltimore Oriole in Florida

Baltimore Oriole (BAOR) reports spike during fall migration as small flocks of birds begin to appear at feeders and in the fields and forest. Because many of these early birds visit feeders to eat the types of foods that overwintering orioles are known to eat (grape jelly, suet, shelled peanuts, nectar, and fruit) many people believe that overwintering has begun early. These early birds move on through, though, and feeder activity drops off as fall migration wanes. Then, there's a period of time between mid-October and late-November that orioles are rare at feeders again.

Activity levels pick up again in late November when another group of overwintering orioles finally push into Florida and other parts of the Deep South to stay for the winter.

Many feeder enthusiasts are surprised to find that BAORs seem to prefer shelled peanuts to everything else all winter long although it's hard to call suet, fruit, nectar, or jelly a second choice. Exact preferences seem to vary from yard to yard.