Orchard Oriole

photo by Phil Swanson

Icterus spurius
L 6″ (15 cm).

Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)

Song is a rapid, musical warble with a medley of melodious whistles and flute-like notes.

Description: Long, sharply pointed bill; conspicuous white wing bars; unnotched tail. Adult male has black head, throat, upper breast, back, wings, and tail; and brick red body. First year male is greenish-yellow overall with a black bib. Female is similar to first year male but lacks black bib.

Behavior: Migrates south early (in July and August) compared to other birds.

orchard oriole
Habitat: Lightly wooded river bottoms, open country with scattered trees, shelterbelts, farmsteads, residential areas, and orchards.

Where in Nebraska: Common spring and fall migrant and summer resident in eastern Nebraska, becoming less common in extreme western areas.

Fun Facts: The Orchard Oriole is a rather late spring migrant, but it heads back southward quickly. Some orioles may return to their wintering grounds as early as mid-July.

female Orchard Oriole - photo by Phil Swanson 
(click image for larger view)