Baltimore Oriole | Upstate | New York

Baltimore Oriole perched on oak tree in Upstate, New York

One of my favorite song birds has always been the Baltimore Oriole. I don’t know if I like them because I grew up watching and playing baseball and the Baltimore Orioles were a team and one of the most popular players in baseball, Cal Ripken Jr., played on that team but that is certainly possible.

Baltimore Orioles are probably one of the more well known species of birds again probably owing to the popularity of professional baseball. I think that leads them to be underappreciated. Baltimore Orioles are one of the most brilliantly colored birds in the region. Their bright orange contrasting with their stark black.

Try to choose a subject

When I go out to photograph birds one species of birds I keep my eyes open for is the Baltimore Oriole. They make great photography subjects. The contrast in colors of the male birds looks gorgeous. The female Baltimore Oriole while not as brilliantly colored as the male is also a very beautiful bird. The more subtle shading and variation in color is a welcome change from the male’s plumage. It shows the distinct difference between the male and female of the species.

I first captured nice images of Baltimore Orioles at our local nature center, Tanglewood Nature Center. Those were over a decade ago. For most of the intervening years I really did not have the opportunity to photograph any Baltimore Orioles.

In recent years Orioles have been more frequent visitors to our yard and I have photographed them more regularly. The Orioles have even nested in our yard a few times in recent years. We have actually come to expect their arrival in the spring. If you want to try to attract Baltimore Orioles to your yard try putting out pieces of oranges for them. They absolutely love it.

Baltimore Oriole in Upstate, New York
Oriole Perched Among Branches

Focus on what is available

This year the Baltimore Orioles are more present than I ever remember. They have been gobbling up oranges like crazy. I am really hopeful that they will once again choose to nest in our yard. I am thankful to have them spending time in our yard again and I am excited about more opportunities to photograph them this year.

The Baltimore Orioles are currently ever present it seems. Every time we walk to our kitchen sink they see us through the window and flee the orange slices we have set out for them. I feel bad for scaring them off however temporarily, but I am glad that they keep returning.

Weather has made it difficult to find opportunities to go outside and photograph these magnificent birds. It has been very rainy here in upstate, New York this spring. When it is not rainy it is just cloudy, gloomy,or otherwise overcast and none of that type of weather lends itself to photographing birds very well.

I have been holding out hope that the weather would shift and I would get my opportunity and I finally did. We had a day where the weather was nice and the sun was shining all day. It was the perfect day for some backyard bird watching and photography.

Baltimore Oriole in Upstate, New York
Male Baltimore Oriole

Make the best of it

I was able to sit outside in the sun and watch the birds for long stretches of time. The Orioles hung around in our oak tree, but were too scared to approach the oranges while I was around. I was able to create images of them as they moved and shifted ion the trees. There was often more than one Oriole present at a time. I was even fortunate enough to capture a few photos with two orioles in the frame at the same time.

The Baltimore Orioles seem to be less tolerant of my presence while I am trying to photograph them than are other species of birds. They mostly stayed away from the feeding areas while I was out there trying to create images. Occasionally one Oriole would try to approach but then apparently get scared off. One Oriole would take off from a branch and fly towards the oranges on the deck and then break off its flight and veer away at the last second.

I was so happy that they stayed around for me to photograph and I wanted them to continue to return so I would have more opportunities to create art. I rewarded them with fresh oranges once I left my post.

If you want to see more of theses photos I added a few more photographs of the Baltimore Orioles to my Song Bird Gallery.

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Baltimore Oriole perched on oak tree in Upstate, New York
Baltimore Oriole looking down from perch

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