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Baltimore Orioles Building Nests

5-26-17 b oriole building nest2 243Although male Baltimore Orioles have been known to partake in nest building, usually it’s the female who selects the specific site within the male’s territory and builds the nest. Located at the tip of a slender branch, this pendulous nest provides its occupants with as much protection from predators as is possible.

The material with which the nest is started usually consists of flexible plant, animal or human-made fibers, and provides support. “Springy” fibers are then woven into the inner bowl and downy fibers are used to line the nest.  The oriole usually brings only a single fiber at each visit, and works it into the nest with a complex series of bill-weaving techniques. The nest is completed in roughly one week.

Construction material includes hair (especially horsehair), twine or string, wool, synthetic fibers (one oriole nest was made entirely of cellophane), various types of plant fibers including grasses, milkweed stems and grapevine bark, cottonwood or willow seed “cotton,” milkweed seed plumes and feathers. Females have been observed flying more than a quarter of a mile in search of construction material. (Photo:  Female Baltimore Oriole on her first day of nest-building)

YESTERDAY’S MYSTERY PHOTO: Once again, Naturally Curious readers outdid themselves with creative solutions to a Mystery Photo. If you want a thoroughly enjoyable 5 minutes of entertainment, read yesterday’s comments! I will let you know if this mystery is ever solved.

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3 responses

  1. Alice Pratt

    It’s just so amazing, how clever and creative birds are, to construct their nests., with their bills. Some also use spiderwebs, (dog) fur, mud.

    May 24, 2017 at 7:44 am

  2. Before we lost most of our mature American Elms to DED their mature pendulous branches offered great nesting locations for orioles. Have you noticed how loud oriole young are? You need a clever approach to nesting to protect such loud children!

    May 25, 2017 at 8:34 am

  3. roger

    do orioles tie knots?

    May 25, 2017 at 9:49 pm

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