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Orange is associated with feelings of happiness and joy, among other things. That’s why people who love it often have a positive outlook on life. Combine that with birding as a hobby, and you’ll probably live a long life full of prosperity!
Today’s article will primarily focus on birds that are orange-breasted, but before we begin, you should know some of these birds are orange-breasted due to variations in climate. So don’t be surprised if you see us list the House Finch, for example, when all along you’ve known the species to have a different color.
Those living on the eastern side of North America know that this bird usually signifies the beginning of spring. You really can’t miss them, as they like to whistle a lot while hunting insects or sucking nectar. They also love fruits very much and can easily be lured to any backyard.
Separating the males from the females is a breeze. Start by looking at the head, and then move on to the breast. If the color of its head is solid-black, and that of the breast is flame-orange, you’re looking at a male Baltimore Oriole. But if the head is grayish and the breast yellow-orange, it’s either a female Oriole or an immature male. Young males often look like their female peers for about 2 years before developing their adult plumage.
This species likes to spend time in the park simply because it prefers spaces that are open with tall trees. Baltimore Orioles have never felt threatened by human settlements, and that’s why they usually feel safe while foraging or nesting in backyards.
Hooded Orioles are different in that the males residing in Texas are orange in color, while those found further west are yellow-ish. They are classified as migratory species, but most of them don’t migrate nowadays. Seems like climate change hasn’t negatively impacted their habitats or food supply.
They’ll eat fruits if you wish to lure them to your garden or nectar. And they’ll stay if the trees around are more than 20 feet off the ground. No Hooded Oriole will feel comfortable building its nest too close to the ground as that would expose them and their eggs to predators.
Another member of the Oriole family that made our list is the Spot-breasted Oriole. Their juveniles are more yellow than orange, but that changes as they grow older. This bird has the same taste and preference as its Hooded Oriole cousin. They love nectar and fruits, use grass and fiber to weave hanging nests that resemble a basket, and live in open woodlands.
You only get to notice the difference once you realize the spot-breasted Oriole appears larger and heavier than the Hooded Oriole. They are rarely seen in the United States, but you can try your luck in Florida or along the Gulf Coast.
Bullock’s Orioles and the Baltimore Orioles are two very different bird species. It’s true that they belong to the same Icteridae family and are known to cross-breed from time to time. But that doesn’t mean that they are the same species. This will be apparent once you realize that male Bullock’s have very noticeable white patches on their wings and orange faces. Colorations that are very different from that of the Baltimore Oriole.
If you hear the male sing, it’s protecting its nesting territory. The female is usually responsible for building the nests, but you’ll find her partner helping out once in a blue moon. They are very particular about how the nest should be constructed. If it isn’t tightly woven, or hanging securely from a branch, they won’t use it. In addition, the materials are usually grass, hair, fibers, cobwebs, or vine tendrils.
The bullock’s primary diet consists of nectar, wild fruits, and berries. However, should they sense that they are running low on supplies, they’ll start hunting insects. Nothing will be spared, including caterpillars, spiders, beetles, wasps, and grasshoppers.
Altamira Orioles are a solitary species. They don’t like flying together or hanging out as a flock. You’ll only see them in pairs when they feel ready to breed. Ornithologists believe they are monogamous, and only seek a different partner if their previous partner goes AWOL.
This Oriole species breeds during summer. The females will start working on the nests 3 to 4 weeks beforehand, while the male stands guard. Their ideal site is in the canopies, but the ones that have already settled among humans don’t mind nesting on telephone wire lines.
You’ll find 3–7 eggs per clutch, and both parents will take care of their younglings until they are ready to leave the nest.
The name alone is enough to tell you that this bird is mostly found in the western parts of the country. And they are the perfect long-term tenants for any birder who’d love them in their backyard since they normally reuse their nests. You’ll never find a breeding pair going about their businesses separately. They like to search and inspect cavity nests together, but the construction bit will be the job of the female.
The Western Bluebird is one of the few bird species that exhibit “cooperative breeding.” A phenomenon whereby a breeding pair has “helpers” willing to help with anything they need, including incubating the eggs on their behalf. That help will come from adults who are still grieving after losing their nests, or juveniles.
American Robins are migratory in nature. They’ll keep you company during summer but bail the minute the weather changes. This species loves feeding on earthworms more than anything else, so you can see why they always feel the need to migrate to South America when the temperatures start dropping.
Like many other birds, they feed on seeds, nuts, and fruits. However, they still see them as supplementary diets. If they can’t find any worms around, they won’t think twice about packing and trying their luck elsewhere.
The Robin’s natural habitat is the forest and open woodlands. Unfortunately, due to climate change, they’ve had to adapt and seek new homes in the mountains. So the next time you’re hiking, and you spot a bird that has a black head, back, and an orange breast, it’s probably the American Robin.
This bird was named after Charles Andrew Allen. He was a taxidermist based in California and the one who classified it. The Allen’s Hummingbird is one of the smallest birds in the Americas, as it’s only 3 inches long on average.
Don’t play or mess around with a male Allen’s, if you’re not looking for a fight. They are notoriously territorial and courageous enough to go toe to toe with a hawk or any other bird species that considers itself an apex predator. This kind of behavior is mostly witnessed when they are trying to protect their food source or a prospective mate.
The bird migrates twice every year and loves sipping nectar from different flowers. You can lure them to your backyard by planting eucalyptus, gooseberry, ceanothus, and twinflower. If they need protein, they just hunt the insects flying by or those crawling on the plants we’ve listed.
The orange chest is more of a male thing than a female thing with the Blackburnian Warbler. The females are yellower with dark patches of color that look like triangles on the face. The males have face markings as well, but they aren’t as distinct as those of their partners.
Blackburnians are not easy to spot, since they usually hang out on top of very tall trees, hidden from anyone or anything looking to hunt them down. They’ll hunt caterpillars in their free time or other invertebrates. The best time to see them in action is during migration, during their stopover to refuel. Most of the breeding population is in the northeastern states of the US and Canada.
In some circles, these birds are called the “handsome orange-breasted finch”, mainly because they are part of the finch family. This woodland species are rarely found foraging for food in gardens unless it’s winter. So many birds and animals struggle to find food and water during such periods, due to extreme temperatures.
Bramblings are seedeaters. But unlike most birds, they don’t like feeding on suspended feeders or trees. They would rather have their meal on the ground, away from distractions. They’ll form a large roost while feeding to discourage predators from approaching.
This Grosbeak is no small songbird. It might look small from a distance, but it isn’t. It’s one of the few birds on the roster that has scientific names perfectly matched with its traits. ‘Melanocephalus’ translates to black-headed, while ‘Pheucticus’ means shy.
Grosbeaks feed on spiders, snails, nectar, nuts, and sunflower seeds. Their habitats are sort of complex, as they need water that’s easily accessible and plant diversity. Anything monotonous is a no-no, and they won’t hesitate to pack and leave. The environment has to have a combination of different trees, or a rich understory.
Ever heard of this bird before? No? Well, that’s probably because it’s originally from Africa. These tiny weaver birds found their way to America, and settled in Houston, TX, and California. If you find them feeding, they’ll be in flocks. By now we all know that this is a survival tactic that most birds use to deter predators from attacking.
They feed mainly on seeds but will sometimes treat themselves to insects. We like to assume they are migratory, seeing as they came from Africa and are now well-established in America.
When the Rufous decides to migrate, it can cover close to 4,000 miles. That’s why you’ll keep bumping into them in regions that aren’t even remotely close. They are in Canada, Mexico, Alaska, and the Gulf Coast. There’s a study that revealed that this species usually starts its migratory journey earlier than most birds and moves deeper north.
And they are not friendly at all—not even to the other hummingbird species. They won’t hang around your garden for long, but will gladly chase away any bird that’s already there. You could lure them using sunflower seeds, or by planting tubular flowers.
Most people still think that the Scarlet Tanager—sometimes referred to as the “Robin With a Cold”—is one of the species found in the Thraupidae family. But it was moved to the Cardinalidae family a few years ago.
Birds in the Cardinalidae family are passerine species. They are mostly known to inhabit forests and woodlands and possess a high degree of sexual dimorphism. Their males have body colors that are brighter and more vivid in comparison to that of their female counterparts. Exactly what we got to see on the Scarlet Tanager.
These birds are territorial but like to live within close proximity of each other. They understand that there’s strength in numbers, should they be attacked by a predator. They mostly feed on invertebrates, fruits, and tender buds.
Although they are now considered one of the most widely distributed species on the continent, back in the day this dooryard bird could only be found in the western regions of the United States. The first time we got to see them was in the 1940s when they were brought to Long Island, New York. They belong to the Fringillidae family, and as per the current records, their population is estimated to be close to one billion!
Like every other bird out there, this species has its unique distinguishing features. But they are not as vivid, seeing as some birds have the same features on them. For instance, if you take a closer look at the females, they have marks that resemble those of the sparrow, and the males resemble a Purple Finch.
If you can’t tell them apart, all you need to remember is that the House Finch’s coloration is reddish-orange, while that of the Purple Finch is more of a wine-red hue. The bird is adaptable, meaning it can be found in any habitat, including arid deserts. They’ll only migrate if they have to and are classified as granivorous—birds that rely on seeds and grains.
You may have noticed most of the birds on this list are Passeriformes. That doesn’t mean that all songbirds have orange chests, it’s just a coincidence that most of them do. When you’re trying to identify a species, don’t just focus on the coloration. Pay attention to its feeding and breeding patterns, as well as migration.
We’d like to hear from you, so if you have questions, feel free to reach out!
Featured Image Credit: Veronika_Andrew, Pixabay
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Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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