The Buzz

Migration watch: Orioles are back in Will County

A Baltimore oriole perched atop a lattice.
A Baltimore oriole. (Photo by Bob Bryerton)

The last of our highly anticipated migratory birds has arrived back in Will County for the spring, with Baltimore orioles spotted locally during this first week of May.

While there's a considerable frenzy over the return of ruby-throated hummingbirds each spring, orioles are another colorful bird people look forward to seeing, and we're excited to have had our first oriole spottings for the spring. Confirmation of the arrival of both Baltimore orioles and orchard orioles comes via the District's Will County Wildlife Group and eBird.

Now that orioles have started arriving, you can start expecting some other birds to start popping in as well.


"Historically, orioles and hummingbirds, along with rose-breasted grosbeaks and indigo buntings, show up around the same time here," said Bob Bryerton, a program coordinator at Plum Creek Nature Center. "Sometimes (they show up) on the same day and sometimes within a week or so of each other."

Bryerton was right, at least about rose-breasted grosbeaks showing up at the same time, as we have also had confirmed sightings of grosbeaks on the Will County Wildlife page. 

Both grosbeaks and orioles are easy to attract to your yard. Orioles love both oranges and grape jelly, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology reports. If you cut oranges in half and leave them on a feeder or put grape jelly on a feeder, there's a good chance you will see them show up in search of a sweet bite. Rose-breasted grosbeaks aren't looking for fruit, but they often visit feeders stocked with sunflower seeds, safflower seeds and raw peanuts. 

Both orioles and grosbeaks nest in the area, but Baltimore orioles are among the first birds to depart on their return trip to their wintering grounds. They will begin to leave the area in July, the Cornell Lab reports.

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