They are the most colorful members of the blackbird family. Eight species breed in the Lower 48. How much do you know about orioles? Take our quiz!
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How Much Do You Know About Orioles?
Oh, Those Orioles!

BWD Managing Editor Dawn HewittBy Dawn Hewitt
Managing Editor | Bird Watcher's Digest

Most are vibrant orange or yellow; they sip from nectar feeders and enjoy fruit—oranges and, notoriously, grape jelly. They are slender birds, with long tails, and sharp bills. These are orioles, of course, perhaps the most colorful members of the blackbird family. Eight species of orioles breed in the Lower 48; two others (black-vented and streak-backed orioles) stray past our southwestern border on rare occasion. But there are 33 species of New World orioles—most of which reside in Central and South America, and all with the same characteristics described above. How much do you know about the eight oriole species found in the U.S. in summer?

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Mystery Oriole #1
Mystery Oriole #1
At 10 inches in length and with a 14-inch wingspan, this is our largest oriole. Relative to other orioles in the U.S., it has a shorter, heavier bill (which is black), and a shorter tail. Males and females have similar plumage. Hint: In this U.S., this species is found only in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
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Mystery Oriole #2
Like oriole #1, in the U.S. this species is found only in South Texas; is nonmigratory; and males and females are similar in appearance. But this species has a relatively longer bill and tail and is primarily yellow. Its distinguishing characteristic is the combination of an all-black hood and greenish back. Hint: This oriole was named for North America's most famous 19th century bird artist.
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Mystery Oriole #3
This is North America’s only bright orange bird with a black hood. Females are variable in color, becoming brighter with age. It is also the most widespread oriole in North America, found east of the Rocky Mountains. Hint: It was named for its colors, similar to those in the flag of the colonial proprietors of Maryland.
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Events and Happenings
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American Birding Expo 2018
Get Advance Tickets for the 2018 American Birding Expo!
Tickets to attend the 2018 American Birding Expo are now available! Join us September 21­–23 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania, and discover the world of birding in one place. Whether you’re a world-traveling bird chaser, just starting out as a bird watcher, or only interested in the birds in your backyard, the Expo has everything you need! Adult admission is only $10. Children 17 and under attend free!
Out There with the Birds #34: Live at New River, Spring 2018
Out There with the Birds Episode #34: Live at New River, Spring 2018
Recorded outside in the bucolic setting at Opossum Creek Retreat during the New River Birding and Nature Festival in Fayetteville, West Virginia, this episode finds the boys talking about this spring’s slow migration, the amazing birder/naturalist Mark Garland, the hottub origin story of Redstart Birding, birding etiquette, dealing with SOBs (Spouses of Birders), hot toad action, and paying it forward as a birder and human. Special thanks to SWAROVSKI OPTIK, Tamron, and Redstart Birding, our podcast sponsors!
This Birding Life #80: Erik Bruhnke, the World's Happiest Birdman
This Birding Life Episode #80: Erik Bruhnke, the World’s Happiest Birdman
During his recent trip to Honduras, TBL host Bill Thompson, III interviewed Naturalist/Photographer/Birding Guide Erik Bruhnke. Their conversation covers Erik’s start as a birder, his favorite birding spots, his love of lifers and beer, his hatred of mylar balloons, his Zen of Birding philosophy, and his favorite “swear” words. This Birding Life is made possible through the generous sponsorship of Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, Redstart Birding, and the American Birding Expo.
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OUR COVER SPECIES
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Just in time for the return of a beautiful bird with a beautiful voice, Ed Kanze provides an appreciation of rose-breasted grosbeaks, and recalls a gut-wrenching encounter.
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OPTICS REVIEW
Swarovski BTX Spotting Scope
The comfort of binocular vision with a spotting scope? That's what Swarovski's new BTX eyepiece module allows. No more eye fatigue from one-eyed scope use. Optics expert Ben Lizdas calls the BTX "a La-Z-Boy recliner for your eyes."
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FEATURE ARTICLE
Thieves' Night Out: An Exploration of Avian Kleptoparasitism  
Birds steal food from other birds—sometimes from their own kind, sometimes from other species. But one night, author Philip C. Whitford witnessed bird thievery of many forms, including stealing from mammals!
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