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WHAT IS THE ORIOLE?


The Oriole spends most of its time in Central and South America. However, it tends to breed in the eastern United States and Canada. A typical oriole is 7 to 8 inches long and its wing span can be 11 to 19 inches. The oriole builds its nest 90 feet off the ground and it nests in large trees and shady places. It also has a clear soft sounding whistle. In recent years oriole numbers have begun to decrease in North America due to global warming and habitat decline in summer areas.



They now tend to migrate further north into Canada and they are having trouble finding adequate habitat there. Forests are being clearcut throughout the United States so food has become much more scarce for them. In the winter the trees that Orioles nest in are being cut down in South and Central America because sunlight is not able to get to the coffee bushes that are being shaded by other trees.














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Orioles eat bugs such as caterpillars, beetles, wasps, ants, grasshoppers and spiders. Fruit is also part of their diet. Grapes, pears, cherries, apples, oranges, bananas, coconuts, and melons are all part of the Orioles fruit diet. The berries that the orioles eat are mulberries, service berries, blackberries, and blueberries. The last part of the diet is vegetables including garden peas, corn, and squash. The Orioles habitat mostly consists of the leaves of elm trees. They stay hidden among the leaves of the trees. Before the trees declined, the American Elm was a favorite nesting site for the eastern bird. Some other places an Oriole can be located is in river groves and tall shaded trees with shrubby undergrowth. The Baltimore Oriole usually migrates to where there are large trees. It is more likely in tall elms, where it builds its nest. Their summer range extends beyond the Northeastern States into southern Canada. In the winter they go to Central America, South America and even the Caribbian.

 

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