This guide will teach you how to locate and attract black and orange birds to your yard in North America.
How can you tell the difference between black and orange birds, such as orioles or tanagers?
You may not be aware of the common black and orange birds.
Red-winged blackbirds are a very common bird species that can be easily identified by their reddish-orange wing patches. The females of this species have a rather dull brown streaky coloration in comparison to the males. These birds have a length of 6.7-9.1 inches (17-23 cm), weight ranging from 1.1-2.7 ounces (32-77 g), and a wingspan of 12.2-15.8 inches (31-40 cm).
During the breeding season, male Red-winged blackbirds are known to aggressively defend their territories, attacking individuals who approach their nests. They can often be seen perching on telephone wires. In the winter, they roost in large groups of billions of birds.
If you want to attract more Red-winged blackbirds to your yard, scattering mixed grain and seeds on the ground or using large tube feeders or platform feeders can be effective methods.
Baltimore Orioles are a vibrant sign of spring in the eastern region of North America. Adult male Orioles have black wings with white bars, bright orange bodies, and black heads and backs. On the other hand, female Orioles have yellowish-brown, grayish-brown, or brownish-yellow underparts, wings, and heads. They are related to blackbirds and are slightly slimmer than robins.
Baltimore Orioles are about 6.7-7.5 inches (17-19 cm) long, weigh 1.1-1.4 ounces (30-40 g), and have a wingspan of 9.1-11.8 inches (23-30 cm). Breeding of these birds can be found in Eastern and Central States, central-southern Canadian provinces, and the southern border with the United States starting from April.
During the winter, these birds migrate to Florida, Central America, and the Caribbean. Baltimore Orioles are known for their woven fiber nests that hang like bags.
They are frequently found in parks and yards foraging for insects, fruit, and other items, and they frequent open woodlands, riverbanks, and forest borders. They feed on a variety of insects, such as beetles, crickets, and grasshoppers, as well as spiders and snails. They can help to control pest insects, but they can also damage crops such as raspberries, mulberries, cherries, bananas, and oranges. They also have a broad range of fruits in their diet.
To attract more Baltimore Orioles to your yard, you can put oranges cut in half on a platform feeder or suspend them from trees. You can also use sugar water-filled feeders designed for Orioles. Planting fruit and nectar plants like raspberries, crab apples, and trumpet vines can also be beneficial.
Bullock’s Orioles have bright orange feathers, black and white wings, and black markings on their heads. In contrast, females and immature birds have gray backs and yellow heads, tails, and breasts, making them duller in appearance.
These birds are 6.7-7.5 inches (17-19 cm) long, weigh 1.0-1.5 ounces (29-43 g), and have a wingspan of 12.2 inches (31 cm). They are found in the western half of the United States and spend their winters in Mexico.
Their nests are woven into a gourd shape and are made of hair, grass, and wool. It takes up to 15 days to complete the construction of these nests.
Bullock’s Orioles enjoy visiting gardens for fruit and grape jelly, as well as nectar feeders. They can also be found in open woodlands and parks.
Male Hooded Orioles are bright yellow to bright orange with black throats and backs, while their color range varies. In contrast, immature females and males have yellowish wings with grayish highlights, and females lack black face markings.
These birds are 7.1-7.9 inches (18-20 cm) long, weigh 0.8 ounces (24 g), and have a wingspan of 9.1-11.0 inches (23-28 cm). Texas males of the Hooded Oriole are orange, while those in the west are yellow.
They breed in southern states, using palm frond hangs to make their hanging nests. Some of them spend the winter in Mexico and remain on the coast of Mexico and Central America throughout the year.
Hooded Orioles live in dry open areas, especially near palm trees. They construct their nests about 20 feet off the ground and are a hanging basket woven from grass and plant material.
To attract orioles, they can use fruit or nectar feeders.
Male Orchard Orioles can be identified by their black heads and backs, and reddish-orange bellies, while females have greenish-yellow coloring that is lighter on the bottom and darker on the back, with white wingbars. These birds have a length of 5.9-7.1 inches (15-18 cm), a weight of 0.6-1.0 ounces (16-28 g), and a wingspan of 9.8 inches (25 cm).
During the summer months, Orchard Orioles breed in central and eastern regions of the United States before migrating south to Mexico and Central America.
They feed on a variety of insects including ants, caterpillars, beetles, and grasshoppers, as well as spiders. In addition, they also consume fruits such as mulberries and chokeberries, and feed on nectar from flowers.
To attract Orchard Orioles to your yard, you can use nectar feeders or platform feeders with cut oranges or mangoes. You can also plant native berry-bearing trees like mulberries and chokeberries.
The Altamira Orioles are distinguished by their black backs, wings, and tails, contrasted with a vibrant yellowish-orange hue. These orange-headed birds have black encircling their eyes and throat. Younger birds display a more yellow color and possess olive-colored backs instead of black.
- Length: 21-25 cm (8.3-9.8 inches)
- Weight: 47-64 g (1.7-2.3 ounces)
- Wingspan: 36 cm (14.2 inches)
These birds are not commonly found in the United States, with the exception of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, where they can be seen throughout the year.
Their preferred locations include southeastern Texas and the Gulf Coast of Central America, often near sunflower or nectar feeders. They are most at home in open woodland environments.
Altamira Orioles typically stay in pairs all year long. Keep an eye out for their impressive hanging nests, which can reach up to 2 feet in length.
The Spot-breasted Orioles are characterized by their black and orange plumage, featuring black accents on their orange chests and white along their wing edges. These birds display black coloration on their backs, wings, tails, faces, and chests. Juvenile birds exhibit similar color patterns on their backs, wings, and tails.
- Length: 21-24 cm (8.3-9.4 inches)
- Weight: 50 g (1.8 ounces)
Spot-breasted Orioles can occasionally be seen in Florida and the Gulf Coast, although they are not prevalent in the United States. Their primary habitats are along the Pacific coast of Mexico and Central America.
These birds are known to frequent open woodlands where they forage for fruit and nectar.
Streak-backed Orioles are recognized by their orange heads and underparts, combined with black-streaked wings and black tails. These birds also display black coloration around their eyes and chins.
These orioles are not typically found in the United States, although they can occasionally be spotted in the southwest region. Their main territories include Mexico and Central America.
These birds can be found inhabiting a variety of environments such as tropical forests, grasslands, and residential backyards.
The American Redstarts are striking birds with black coloring and vibrant red patches, accompanied by a white underbelly. Female birds display yellow patches instead of red and have an olive-gray appearance.
- Length: 11-13 cm (4.3-5.1 inches)
- Weight: 6-9 g (0.2-0.3 ounces)
- Wingspan: 16-19 cm (6.3-7.5 inches)
These birds can be found across eastern US states, Canada, and in some northern US regions. During migration, they may also appear in central states.
Their preferred habitats include backyards and thickets, where they consume berries such as serviceberry and magnolia, as well as insects found in deciduous woodlands.
The American Robins, widely recognized black and orange birds, are often spotted on lawns as they feast on earthworms. These birds have black heads and backs, while their chests exhibit red or orange hues. During winter, they tend to roost in trees, making them more visible in yards from spring onward.
- Length: 20-28 cm (7.9-11.0 inches)
- Weight: 77-85 g (2.7-3.0 ounces)
- Wingspan: 31-40 cm (12.2-15.8 inches)
These common backyard birds can be found throughout the United States and Canada. Breeding Canadian robins migrate further south in winter, while their American counterparts remain in their breeding territories year-round.
To attract more American Robins to your yard, provide sunflower seeds, suet, peanut hearts, fruit, and mealworms. Scatter food on the ground using platform feeders. Additionally, planting native berry-producing shrubs such as juniper, sumac, hawthorn, and dogwood can also help draw these birds to your garden.
Eastern Towhees are large sparrows, with males featuring a black head, neck, and back, reddish-orange sides, long tails, and a white belly. Females have a similar appearance, but with brown instead of black coloration.
- Length: 17.3-20.8 cm (6.8-8.2 inches)
- Weight: 32-52 g (1.1-1.8 ounces)
- Wingspan: 20-28 cm (7.9-11.0 inches)
These birds migrate south during winter from northern regions, and they can be seen in the westernmost part of their range only during winter months. Eastern Towhees reside year-round in the southern states.
Their preferred habitats are woodland edges and thickets, where they often forage in the underbrush.
Eastern Towhees may visit yards with overgrown borders to search for fallen seeds or feed on platform feeders offering black oil sunflower seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and millet.
Spotted Towhees are medium-sized birds, similar in size to a Robin, with males displaying black coloration on their heads, necks, and backs, while females are brown. Both sexes have orange-brown sides and bellies, as well as white wings and backs. They have long tails.
These birds forage for insects like beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars, wasps, and bees in dense shrubbery on the ground. They also consume acorns, berries, and seeds as part of their diet.
To encourage Spotted Towhees to visit your property, maintain overgrown borders. These birds will be attracted to platform or ground feeders offering black oil sunflower seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, cracked corn, millet, and milo.
The Blackburnian Warbler males are characterized by their black coloration, orange throats, cheeks, and facial markings, as well as black backs and wings. Females display white streaks on their bellies and are more yellow in comparison to males. A distinct dark triangle can be found on both sides of their faces, between their eyes.
- Length: 11-12 cm (4.3-4.7 inches)
- Weight: 8.9-12.6 g (0.3-0.4 ounces)
- Wingspan: 20-23 cm (7.9-9.1 inches)
Blackburnian Warblers can be spotted during migration in the eastern United States. They may breed as far south as Virginia or North Carolina, with their breeding range extending to Canada and northeastern US states. These birds migrate to South America for the winter.
Due to their preference for high tree canopies and being concealed by foliage, Blackburnian Warblers can be challenging to observe. They inhabit woodlands and forests, where they search for caterpillars.
Bramblings are distinct birds with a combination of orange and black coloring, featuring orange chests, white bellies, black heads, and dark backs. Female Bramblings have a paler appearance compared to males.
- Length: 16 cm
- Weight: 23-29 g
- Wingspan: 25-26 cm
These birds are a species of finch found in Europe and Asia, as well as Alaska during migration periods. Some Bramblings that arrive in summer might stay but tend to move southward as winter approaches. They can also be spotted at backyard feeders.
Black-headed Grosbeaks are sizable orange and black songbirds, characterized by their orange breasts and throats, as well as black wings and heads. Female birds are brown with brown backs and brown markings on their white breasts.
These birds breed in western US states and migrate to Mexico for the winter. They can be found in diverse environments, including backyards, particularly where water is available.
To attract Black-headed Grosbeaks to your yard, provide sunflower seed feeders. They are also known to feed from oriole feeders.
Northern Red Bishop
Northern Red Bishops, small weaver birds originating from Africa, are quite petite. During the breeding season, male birds display orange and black coloring with subtle red and black hues. Females exhibit a similar pattern in brown and white.
These tiny birds, measuring around 4 inches in length, inhabit the tall grasslands of northern Africa. Escaped pet populations can now be found in California, Texas, and Florida.
Male Northern Red Bishops construct spherical nests with a side entrance, which accommodate seeds and insects.
Western Tanagers exhibit a striking flame orange-red color on their heads, bodies, and wings. They breed in the north and migrate south during winter, inhabiting western states.
Although their appearance is vibrant, they prefer to dwell in open conifer woodlands, often concealing themselves in the tree canopy. The absence of pigment in Western Tanagers leads them to consume insects that provide necessary pigmentation.
Attracting Western Tanagers to bird feeders can be achieved by offering dried fruit, sliced oranges, and other fruits.
Scarlet Tanagers boast vibrant crimson bodies that intensify in color towards their heads, with black wings and tails that also exhibit a more crimson hue. They breed in eastern woodlands during summer before migrating to South America.
Observing Scarlet Tanagers can be challenging, as they tend to remain high in the forest canopy.
To attract more Scarlet Tanagers, consider planting berry bushes such as blackberries, raspberries, huckleberries, juneberries, serviceberries, mulberries, and strawberries.
Male Flame-colored Tanagers are striking birds with orange-red bodies, more intense wings and tails, and vibrant plumage. Females exhibit a more orange hue compared to their male counterparts.
- Length: 18-19 cm
- Weight: 32-48 g (1.13-1.71 oz)
These birds are infrequent visitors to the United States, having been spotted in Texas where they are starting to breed. Their primary habitats are the forests of Mexico and Central America. Flame-colored Tanagers primarily feed on insects and berries.
Male Varied Thrushes exhibit orange breasts and necks, accompanied by black backs. Their wings are also adorned with orange stripes, and their black heads feature orange lines running along the sides. Females display a paler appearance with a deeper brown hue on their backs.
- Length: 7.5-10.2 in (19-26 cm)
- Weight: 2.3-3.5 oz (65-100 g)
- Wingspan: 13.4-15.0 in (34-38 cm)
The Varied Thrush inhabits the Pacific Coast, breeding in Alaska and northern Canada. Some can also be found along the Pacific coast of British Columbia and the United States. During winter, birds from Alaska and inland Canada migrate as far south as California.
These birds forage for insects in forests during summer and consume berries and seeds in winter.
Male Western Spindalis showcase striking orange throats and black-and-white striped heads. Their shoulders are adorned with green or black backs tinged with orange. Females display more muted colors, but maintain similar patterns.
Predominantly found in the Caribbean, Western Spindalis have also been sighted in Florida. Their preferred habitats include subtropical and tropical forests.
Feeding on fruit, berries, seeds, and insects, Western Spindalis build cup-shaped nests using grass and weeds.