Baltimore Oriole

12 Birds That Look Like Orioles (How to Identify Them)

The oriole is a type of bird that many people have often mistaken for other species. It’s not uncommon to see an orange or yellow bird and think it’s an oriole. 

These birds often share similar features with orioles such as bright colors and orange or yellow feathers. However, there are a few key differences between them to help you identify which type of bird it is.

There are actually 12 birds that look like Orioles. This article will help clarify the variance between these species of birds so that you can easily identify them.

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbird
Image by Akiroq Brost from Pixabay

The Yellow-headed Blackbird is not an oriole. The Yellow-headed Blackbird can be found in the southeastern United States and lives around marshes, ponds, rivers, and lakes. They are amazing birds to see and often get mistaken for orioles because of their yellow head feathers. They are usually seen in the early springtime but can be found during other seasons as well.

These birds eat many types of food including insects, fruit, and seeds. ​​​​​​The yellow-headed blackbird, while it looks similar to the orioles, has very different behavior and sound than that of the orioles. 

American Redstart

The American Redstart is a small warbler measuring (4.3 to 5.5″ inches) in length. These birds are very common during the spring and fall, and they can be found from Nova Scotia to Florida and west to Texas. They will also migrate south for winter into Mexico, Central America, and South America.

This species prefers breeding habitats with dense shrubs or bushes near water sources like creeks or streams. American Redstarts feed on insects like mosquitoes and beetles as well as tree sap from birch trees.

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch
Image by Bryan Hanson from Pixabay

The American Goldfinch is a small, lively bird with a bright yellow head and breast.  The wings and tail are black with white stripes. The American Goldfinch eats mainly seeds and insects, but will also eat fruits and berries. This species is found in the Americas, and they live primarily in forests or woodland areas.

These birds are one of the most common backyard birds that people have in their backyards because they are so easy to attract! They will eat seeds from the ground or from feeders but will also visit backyard birdbaths for water. In the winter months, these birds gather in large flocks to feed on trees that have lost their leaves.  If you have one of these lovely birds at your house, be sure to feed them regularly​​​​​​​.

Related Articles:

Western Tanager

The Western Tanager is a type of bird that was first spotted in the western United States. It has a range from southern Canada to Panama and Guatemala, and it can be found year-round throughout most of its range. The Western Tanager can be identified by its red or orange coloration on its head, neck, wings, back, and tail feathers.

They feed on insects that they find on leaves or catch in flight; their beaks are shaped for this type of feeding as well as berries, fruit, and seeds. Western Tanagers can often be found at bird feeders where they enjoy black sunflower seeds as well as white proso millet and safflower seed mixes.

Related Articles:

Varied Thrush

The Varied Thrush is a migratory bird that breeds in North America and winters in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s primarily found east of the Rocky Mountains, but can also be seen as far west as California and southern Texas. Its preferred habitat is near streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, or marshes.

They also often perch on rocks along these bodies of water to look for prey.  This variety lives in mixed forests, where it nests on the ground or low branches. The female lays four to six eggs at a time, with incubation lasting about 12 days. They are omnivores who eat insects and seeds like sunflower heads.

Related Articles:

Golden-cheeked Warbler

The Golden-cheeked Warbler is known as the goldfinch of Texas. This little bird spends its winters in central Mexico and summers throughout eastern and south-central Texas. It breeds in open oak forests with dense undergrowth, often near streams or springs. It prefers a moist habitat because it’s highly susceptible to dehydration when food is scarce during the winter months.

These birds migrate to Mexico during the winter months but return to breed at their breeding grounds near Austin and San Antonio. Golden-cheeked Warblers have one gold cheek patch on each side of their face which gives them their name. ​​​​​​​These birds will eat almost anything they can find including insects, spiders, lizards, worms, and berries. ​​​​​​​

American Robin

American Robin
Image by Jack Bulmer from Pixabay

The American Robin is a common bird in North America and lives all over North America except for the desert southwest region. They are about the size of an oriole and have similar markings on their breasts. There is only one breeding population in America; they nest from April to July, mainly in North America and northern South America.

The American Robin migrates south for winter; these birds do not migrate very far, usually around 1000 miles away from their home range, or even less than that. Their diet consists mainly of worms,  insects, and berries that they eat while perched on branches or flying from place to place looking for food.

Related Articles:​​​​​​​

Black-headed Grosbeak

The Black-headed Grosbeak is a medium-sized songbird that is related to the cardinal that can be found in the United States and Canada. This type of grosbeak has similar traits to an oriole. It has orange underparts and black upperparts with white patches on its wings.

Its head is black with orange stripes, but not all of them have these markings; they are only present in the northern populations. The grosbeak lives in mixed deciduous and coniferous forests, where it eats seeds from pine cones as well as fruits and insects. Black-headed Grosbeaks often visit backyard feeders during the summer months. 

Evening Grosbeak

Evening Grosbeak
Image by Alain Audet from Pixabay

The Evening Grosbeak is a medium-sized bird, from the finch family and resembles an oriole. It is most common in eastern North America where it lives year-round in deciduous forests and urban parks. It can be found throughout much of Canada, but it migrates south for winter to more temperate climates such as Florida or Texas.

You’re most likely to see them around dusk singing their song when people are asleep. Unlike other species of birds in this family that are often found perched on branches or vines in thick forests or gardens feeding mostly on seeds, insects, and fruits. They are most often seen during morning hours before they fly off to their evening roosts.

Spotted Towhee

Spotted Towhee
Image by radesigns from Pixabay

The Spotted Towhee is a bird that I have only seen in North America. The bird is about the size of an oriole and can be found all over the continent, but they are mostly located on the east coast of Canada and in Florida. They usually stay away from heavily populated areas, preferring to live near forests or meadows with plenty of trees. In my experience, spotting one has been relatively easy as long as you know what you’re looking for.

Spotted Towhees have a black head with white spots on their chests that are outlined by a thin band of black feathers. ​​​​​​​They like to eat seeds from weeds, acorns, insects, and fruit that they find in trees or bushes. The males make loud calls for mates during breeding season with songs sung by two or three high-pitched notes followed by one low note at irregular intervals. ​​​​​​​

Related Articles:

How to Attract Towhee to your backyard? Expert Tips!

Eastern Towhee

Eastern Towhee
Image by Miles Moody from Pixabay

Birding enthusiasts flock to see the eastern towhee. Eastern Towhees are found in the forests of eastern North America, from southeastern Canada south to Florida and westward through the Appalachian Mountains into central Texas. It can be seen around home sites, and at feeders throughout its range.

The Eastern Towhee is known for its striking plumage with a bright red-orange breast, white stripes on the side of its head, black-spotted back, and white bars across its wings that contrast sharply with their olive-green coloration. Eastern towhees typically forage in brushy habitats such as woodlands, forest edges, weedy fields, or meadows where they feed mainly on insects and seeds.

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow
Image by wileydoc from Pixabay

Barn Swallows are a type of swallow that lives in the United States. The species is one of the most common birds in North America and can be found year-round, even during the winter months. In fact, they can often be seen near barns or sheds because these structures provide excellent shelter for their nests.

They eat insects to survive and use their bills to catch them midair. Barn swallows are small migratory birds that fly south in winter to avoid cold weather. They return in springtime when their insect food supply begins to reappear, usually between March and May.​​​​​​​