| Story by Meghan McMahon |
Orioles are one of the most anticipated avian arrivals to Will County each spring, and while they’ve been in our area for a few weeks now that hasn’t dampened people’s enthusiasm at catching a glimpse of them.
Will County is home to two orioles species: the well-known Baltimore oriole and the lesser-known orchard oriole. Both have been seen in and around the county for a few weeks now, but their time here will be fleeting, as it is every year.
“They are only here for a very short time,” said Kelli Parke, a former interpretive naturalist at the Forest Preserve’s Four Rivers Environmental Education Center.
The orioles are typically seen in Will County from mid- to late May until July, Parke said. After that time, they begin their migration south, returning to wintering grounds in Florida, the Caribbean and Central and South America, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. They are among the first birds to begin their migration south each year.
Here’s a closer look at both oriole species, as well as their similarities and differences.