Walk slowly along the edges of forests, thickets, and old fields. Orioles are colorful, vocal members of the blackbird family. Then lower your eyes to ground level and scan the leaf litter, looking for a scratching towhee or the bright white corners of the bird flashing its tail at you. You aren’t likely to see an oriole scuffling in the dirt, unless it has accidently dropped one of its contact lenses. Its species name, spurious, means "illegitimate" in Latin, probably because of its resemblance to the Northern oriole in early descriptions. The Orchard Oriole swaps the typical flame-orange of other orioles for a deep, burnished russet. Some orioles may return to their wintering grounds as early as mid-July. In Massachusetts they are represented by two species—the Baltimore Oriole and the Orchard Oriole. Orchard Orioles often gather in flocks during migration. The chuck call of an orchard is deeper and huskier than a similar call rarely given by young Hoodeds; the wheet call of the hooded is not given by the orchard. Orioles spend most of their lives high up in trees eating fruit and insects, while the towhee is basically a fancy sparrow. Hopping among riverine shrubs or scattered trees, male Orchard Orioles sing a whistled, chattering song to attract yellow-green females. Listen carefully for the Eastern Towhee’s scratchy chewink call, its bright song, or simply any rustling the bird makes in dry leaves. It typically feeds on the ground by scratching in the dirt. The bold patterning of black and yellow-orange sported by male Baltimore Orioles reminded early observers of the black and gold heraldry of Lord Baltimore—hence the species' common name. Look at … It is a late spring migrant, but it heads back southward quickly. The top photo, however, is an Orchard Oriole, a bird that comes to the Midwest only in summer. But again I have Googled Orchard Oriole images and have seen some pics labelled as Orchards with orange tail feathers - I am hoping that they were just misidentified. The Orchard Oriole is the smallest North American oriole. Most common in the Midwest and South is this small oriole. It favors open areas with scattered groves of trees, so human activities may have helped it in some areas, opening up the eastern woodlands and planting groves of trees on the prairies. The bottom photo (left) is an American Robin, common to most backyards. So how do you tell the difference? Find This Bird. It seems that the Orchard's tail feathers are more often than not - all black; whereas, the Baltimore's tail feathers have extensive yellow/orange outer tail feathers (Top two pics).