10 Birds That Look Like Orioles (With Pictures)

oriole on a bird feeder

Orioles are renowned for singing a charming melody anytime they are present. They are also talked about for being skilled nest builders, and their nests consistently look like works of art.

Orioles have distinctive orange and black plumage, with orange feathers varying from burnt and brilliant orange to yellow.

Female Baltimore orioles often have grey and olive plumage since males tend to be more colourful than females. (Here are ways to attract orioles to your backyard)

Anytime you spot a bird like that in your backyard, you must have thought it was an oriole. Many people frequently confuse the Baltimore orioles, with other species.

There are, however, several bird species that resemble orioles. It happens frequently for people to mistake an orange or yellow bird for Baltimore orioles.

These birds as American Robin, American Redstart, Evening Grosbeak, Varied Thrush, and Eastern Meadowlark have characteristics in common with orioles, such as vivid colours and bright orange plumage or yellow feathers.

Here Are The Birds That Look Like Orioles

To make it easy for you to distinguish between an oriole and other birds that look like it, we have charted out this guide.

Look for the “how to identify” part to effectively understand to tell the difference between other birds apart from orioles the next time you spot them.

Varied Thrush

Varied Thrush sitting on a tree
Varied Thrush Looks Like Oriole

The silent woods of the Pacific Northwest, with their lofty conifers and moist ferns, shrubs, and mosses, are given a voice by the Varied Thrush’s shrill, intense and eerily melodious song.

In the summer, they mostly consume insects and other arthropods; in the fall and winter, they switch to eating nuts and fruit. Adult males Varied Thrushes sit on exposed ledges to sing their eerie, trilling notes on breeding territories.

Varied Thrushes, which are widespread in the Cascades, Northern Rockies, and Pacific Coast, spend the summer foraging for insects before switching to berries and seeds in the winter.

They nest in the shadowy understory of wet evergreen and mixed forests. Many of them relocate to crowded parks, gardens, and backyards during the winter.

How to identify them?

Varied Thrushes have broad, rounded heads, straight beaks, and lengthy legs. They are often observed standing horizontally on the ground or in a tree, and frequently have round bellies and short tails.

Male Varied Thrushes have a sooty-black breastband, an orange line above the eye, and a back that is rich burnt orange and dark blue-grey.

The flight feather edges and two orange stripes on the wings are blackish. Females are lighter grey-brown than males while having the same markings.

American Robins

American Robins, the classic early risers, are ubiquitous sights on lawns all throughout North America. You may frequently witness them pulling earthworms out of the ground.

The warm orange breast, upbeat singing, and early emergence at the end of winter make robins appealing birds.

American Robins are common city and town birds, but they can thrive in more untamed environments, such as the wildness of Alaska and mountain forests.

The fall and winter months see robins eating a lot of fruit. They occasionally get drunk when they just eat honeysuckle berries.

You may spot these oriole-resembling species in your yard or a neighbouring park dashing across lawns or pursuing earthworms.

Due to their constant singing, robins may be located by listening for their distinct, lilting melodic whistles. They could vanish from your lawn in the winter, but they might still be there.

They are often found in flocks among fruit trees and in treetops, so keep an ear out for their low cuckoo calls when in lawn or garden.

How to identify them?

They have white patches on the lower abdomen and under the tail that may be noticeable while flying.

Females have lighter heads than males, which blend into the grey back more subtly.They can be defined as grey-brown birds with brownish orange scutum and blackheads.

Black-headed Grosbeak

Black-headed Grosbeaks are huge songbirds with a thick, conical pointed bill that is enormous in size overall. They have short, thick necks and big heads. A short tail gives off a hefty, compact appearance.

Black-headed Grosbeaks happily consume sunflower seeds at bird feeders while they bounce around in thick foliage collecting insects and seeds.

In the spring and summer, males whistle and sing from the tops of trees. These birds may be located using their unique short, squeaky chip sound.

They are found in thickets along desert streams, mountain woods, backyards, and gardens. The ideal environment for them would have a variety of understory plants and some huge trees.

How to identify them?

Breeding males have black heads, white wings, and beautiful orange-cinnamon bodies.

The breast of females and young males is warm orange or buff below, and some individuals have stripes on the sides.

Everybody has a grey pointed bill. They have dazzling yellow underwing flashes when flying.

Spotted Towhee

Spotted Towhees may be found in open, shrubby habitats with dense undergrowth. Backyards, the margins of forests, and overgrown fields are also suitable habitats for spotting towhees.

Spotted Towhees jump over the ground while foraging in the leaf litter beneath dense tangles of plants. Additionally, they descend onto lower trees to sing quickly and bustily or to scout for insects and fruits.

Although they are capable of making lengthy flights, towhees prefer to fly slowly and briefly between areas of shelter.

How to identify them?

Its appearance is of a big sparrow with a short neck, broad body, thick beak, and long, rounded tail. Male Towhees have dazzling white spots on their wings and back and have jet-black upper parts and a throat.

The belly is white, while the flanks have a warm rufous colour. Males are black, whereas females are greyish brown, although having the same pattern. Search for the black tail’s white corners as it is in flight.

Blackburnian Warbler

In the summer, Blackburnian Warblers can be located high in the mixed conifer-deciduous forest canopy.

It may be difficult to see the bird at first due to the dense foliage, therefore it will be important to listen for the buzzy song of the male with its exceptionally high final note.

If you carefully listen to this sound, a magnificent warbler with a bright orange neck should finally show itself.

Except during migration, when they may be spotted alongside hundreds of other warbler species in areas that attract migrants in the spring and fall, these forest-canopy specialists are rarely observed at eye level.

In Northern South America, where there are open woods and shade-coffee plantations, they spend the winter there.

Blackburnian Warblers hunt for insects and their larvae on the tops of both coniferous and deciduous trees, where they frequently hop and crawl over whole branches to gaze up at the undersides of leaves.

How to identify them?

They have a distinctive triangle facial pattern of black or grey, which is also evident in all plumages, which is more significant than the mating male’s vibrant orange face and throat colour, which is recognisable.

Females and immatures also exhibit at least a trace of this colouration.

Evening Grosbeak

These gregarious birds are frequently observed in groups, especially during the winter. They hunt for insects’ larvae in the summer, buds in the spring, seeds, berries, and tiny fruits in the winter among the trees.

During certain winters, they make sporadic travels south into the continental United States, where they may start to frequent backyard bird feeders.

Outside of backyards, they spend the winter in woods and typically at higher elevations, they eat both coniferous and deciduous trees.

They nest in western North America mountains and the spruce-fir, pine-oak, pinyon-juniper, and aspen forests of northern North America. 

How to identify them?

Evening Grosbeaks are enormous, hefty finches with muscular, pointed bills that are quite thick and robust.

They have a short tail, a full chest, and a robust neck. Male adult, evening Yellow and black birds called grosbeaks have a large white patch on their wings. They have black heads with an eye-catching yellow stripe.

The majority of females and immatures are grey, with greenish-yellow highlights on the neck and sides, white and black wings, and a grey body. On adult males, the pointed bill is pale ivory, whereas, on females, it is greenish-yellow.

American Redstart

The extremely energetic insectivores known as American Redstarts never seem to stop moving.

The redstart dashes after its fleeing insect food to grab it in the air as they quickly spread their cocked tails, displaying the orange or yellow in a flash.

American Redstarts like open forested areas, especially those where deciduous trees predominate.

During migration, the species inhabits almost all areas with trees. At lower and medium elevations, woods and open forests provide their habitat throughout the tropical winter.

How to identify them?

 American redstart is a medium-sized warbler with a reasonably long, expressive tail and a moderately large, flat beak. It has a long, almost club-shaped tail and a large, deep chest when flying.

The flanks, wings, and tails of adult males American Redstarts are predominantly black with vivid orange markings.

The stomach is white. The orange is swapped out for yellow or yellow-orange in adult female and young boys. They have a dark-grey tail, an olive back and wings, a grey tail, and grey underparts.

Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern Meadowlark males can be heard singing in a lovely flute-like tune on exposed perches, especially fenceposts throughout America.

They often fly low to the ground in a characteristic pattern of quick fluttering and brief glides.

Meadowlark flocks that are out hunting insects in fields throughout the winter may be seen. They move around the ground while frequently remaining hidden by grass or crops.

Farm areas, meadows, and wet fields are the habitat of eastern meadowlarks. They build their nests on the ground and sing while perched on exposed objects like power wires, fence posts, and trees.

How to identify them?

Eastern Meadowlarks have brilliant yellow underparts, a prominent black V across their breast, and are pale brown with black markings.

The outside feathers of the tail are white and noticeable when flying, even though the majority of it is brown with blackish barring.

The medium-sized Eastern Meadowlark has a long, spear-shaped beak and short tail.

They may be distinguished from other grassland songbirds in flight thanks to their rounded wings, short tails, and large bills.

Smaller than a Blue Jay and somewhat bigger but more compact than an American Robin.

Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark can cheer up anybody’s day with their flute-like music echoing across a field. Meadowlarks are typically easier to hear than to see.

You can spot these robust ground feeders throughout the West and Midwest’s grasslands, meadows, and pastures, and along the borders of marshes where flocks strut and consume seeds and insects.

Western Meadowlarks are found foraging in low-growing fields, meadows, and open grasslands, as well as near marshes and roadsides.

They may be found in mixed flocks with other blackbirds and starlings during the winter.

Males sing throughout the mating season when perched atop fences and powerlines, as well as from the tops of bushes and fence posts.

How to identify them?

This striking member of the yellow headed blackbird family displays a vivid yellow breast that is split in two by a recognisable black V-shaped band.

Although the Western and Eastern Meadowlarks have a very similar appearance, they very seldom hybridise.

Only in extremely rare cases, when there are few mates available, do mixed couples typically occur.

Eastern Bluebird

These are so prevalent that the majority of country roads in eastern North America in the summertime witness a few Eastern Bluebirds perched on telephone wires or atop nest boxes, crying out in a shaky voice or suddenly plunging to the ground in pursuit of an insect very often.

Eastern Bluebirds may be found in wide areas with little vegetation, big trees, and nesting boxes. Golf grounds, ancient pastures, and meadows are all suitable locations.

Bluebirds often perch upright and vigilant in the open, either on fences or power lines.

If food is provided, this species may visit your backyards too. Mind that unless you have feeders that offer mealworms, it rarely visits them. 

How to identify them?

The neck and breast of male Eastern Bluebirds are rusty or brick red, while the top is a striking, deep blue colour.

They are magnificent creatures to see via binoculars. Females have a modest orange-brown breast and grey upper parts with bluish wings and tails.

Blue in birds is always dependent on lighting, and males can seem plain grey-brown up close.


We hope that you have gained a lot of knowledge about other birds that look like orioles. Knowing which birds look like orioles and their identification will make it simple for you to recognise and tell them apart.

Offer them their preferred foods, such as seeds, worms, grains, fruits, berries, and more if you come across any of them, these tiny bird species appreciate hospitality and may become your daily visitor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between Orioles and Baltimore Orioles?

Compared to the Orchard Orioles, the Baltimore Orioles is bigger and heavier. When two species are side by side, it is simpler to see size differences.

Due to the Orchard Oriole’s little size, bird enthusiasts have noted that it may be mistaken for a warbler or even a sparrow.

Orchard Orioles are distinguished from Baltimore Orioles by a solid black bib-like chin, throat, and upper neck.

They prefer semi-open settings areas with few trees for their habitat while the Baltimore Orioles favours a range of habitat types.

How many types of oriole birds are there?

There are around 30 different Orioles species that exist, some of the most popular ones include Orchard Orioles, Baltimore Oriole, Hooded Oriole, Bullock’s Oriole, Scott’s Oriole, and Spot-breasted Oriole.

You can frequently observe these varied Orioles in your backyard by putting backyard feeders.

They are majorly exclusively found in North America and are well recognised for their yellow and black plumage. They are closely linked to the family of yellow headed blackbird.

What kind of bird looks like an oriole?

Black-headed grosbeak Black-headed grosbeak is one of a group of black and orange birds that look like an oriole.

How many types of oriole birds are there?

Orioles are the species of the genus Oreolidae from the Old World or the New World of 30 different species. These two families have perching birds (order Passeridae).

Donald Bergeson

I have always been fascinated by the skill, strength, and beauty of birds.They help in maintaining a balance of ecological environment. At Best Bird Guide, I share all of my experiences and discoveries that I have got so far and inspire more devoted fans.

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