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Orioles are such uniquely and beautifully colored birds. The most common oriole in the western part of the United States is the Northern Bullock's Oriole. It can be identified by its orange cheeks and white patches on its wings.

East of the plains in the United States, you will find the Northern Baltimore Oriole. The male Baltimre oriole is bright orange with black and white wings, and it has a solid black head. These species share the same territory in the west and on the plains, so they have bred into one species in that area. The Orchard Oriole has a dark chestnut colored breast, a black head and tail, and black and white wings. It is located across the United States from the Atlantic to the plains. Like its name suggests, it prefers orchards but can be seen in towns and rural areas.

Although there are nine species of orioles which come to the United States from South America and Mexico, the above mentioned are the most common. In the southern states, they arrive to build their nests at the beginning of April. In the north, they come back between mid April and the beginning of May.

When the orioles first arrive from their long journey, they prefer to eat fruits and berries, but they will also eat insects. You can attract them to your yard with chopped pears, orange slices, chopped apples, or sliced bananas. These can be offered on a platform feeder or in a suet feeder. Suet that has fruit or insects in it is good to attract orioles. You also may want to try grape preserves or orange marmalade. You will need to replace these fruits and preserves daily to keep them as fresh as possible.

There are nectar feeders for orioles that are very similar to hummingbird feeders. Hummingbird feeders are usually red, and oriole feeders are orange and have larger feeding holes. Nectar for oriole feeders can be purchased, or you can make your own. This is done by boiling together one part sugar to six parts water. Let the mixture cool before putting it in the feeder, and store any leftovers in the refrigerator. The nectar will need to be changed every four to five days, and the feeder should be washed in hot soapy water.

You may want to consider planting certain trees and bushes, and you can offer nesting materials to attract orioles. They like elms, poplars, willows, and cottonwoods. They also like to feast on cherries, figs, and a variety of nuts. Pet fur, natural fiber twine, dull colored string, and natural colored yarn can be offered for nesting material. Make sure any strings you make available are no longer than six inches so the birds don't become tangled in them. Don't be discouraged if you don't attract orioles right away. It can take time to bring new birds to your yard. Seeing your first oriole will be well worth your time and effort.