When Do Orioles Come Back to Michigan? (Get your feeders ready!)

As winter turns into spring, there is really only one thing on my mind.

When will orioles make their return to Michigan?!

when do orioles get back to michigan

Seriously, I am counting down the days until I can put out fresh oranges, grape jelly, and nectar in my oriole feeders again!

First, let me give you my disclaimer that there isn’t a specific date every year that Baltimore and Orchard Orioles arrive in Michigan from their long migration northward. The exact dates change every year depending on certain environmental factors, such as weather and food availability.

Baltimore Orioles spend the winter in warm climates, such as Central America, northern South America, and some individuals even choose to stay in Florida. Depending on their exact wintering location, they start migrating north to their breeding grounds sometime in April. Mid-April to mid-May is the peak of oriole migration!

With that being said, they do tend to get back around the same time every year.

In Michigan, I would start looking for the orioles to return in mid-May.

orioles arrive back from migration

And to be prepared, I would put out your oriole feeders on May 10th!

Putting out oranges, grape jelly, and nectar in your oriole feeders on May 10th might seem a bit early, but you want to make sure you are ready for the first arrivals. Remember that these birds have just migrated a LONG distance and will be extremely hungry and tired. In addition, there are not many flowers blooming, ripened fruit, or bugs flying around yet for them to eat and reload their energy reserves.

Setting out food for orioles will provide a valuable meal for them. Don’t worry if you are a bit early, as it doesn’t hurt anything to put your oriole feeders out before any birds have arrived.

Interestingly, you can also TRACK orioles on their way back to Michigan!

Here’s how:

You can use EBIRD to follow the northward migration of orioles to see if they have been spotted in Michigan yet.

If you haven’t heard of it, eBird is a database where people upload their bird observations. The great part about it is you can use this data to determine when it’s time to put up your oriole feeders in Michigan.

If you want to learn how to use eBird to do this, please watch the video below! (In the video, I am demonstrating how to follow hummingbirds, but the same concept applies to orioles. 🙂 )

When do you put your oriole feeders back up in Michigan?

Please leave a comment below.

Make sure to mention WHERE you live!

Thanks for reading. 🙂

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  1. Buckley, MI, today is 5/23 and we’ve had the feeder up for the past 2 weeks after I first spotted an Oriole. They’re not so much into the oranges as they are the jelly, unlike past years. The oranges are just drawing ants so I may not replenish those.

  2. I just got mine out and will be putting it on my picture window tomorrow May 7th. I’m ready. We live in Mi and they were here for a long time last summer. Wish I could keep the bees away! Any suggestions?

    1. We have had Orioles since we put our feeder out. We also have a pair of babies!! They come together every day! Sometimes mom comes with them. We have Hummingbirds too but no babies yet.

  3. Just saw our first oriole today on 5/6/23.
    Last couple of years have seen them on May 1.
    I live outside of Saint Johns, MI.

  4. It’s 5/6/23, and in the mid-60s. I put out an orange less than an hour ago and within 20 minutes had 2 orioles feeding! We have had a pair nesting near us for the last several years, and they have returned again. I’m in central Oakland County.

  5. Hi we are in northern michigan, Rose city area, Lupton to be exact. We have had Orioles coming to the hummingbird feeder and Oriole window feeder for a few days now. Today is 5-18. Not eating the orange so much but are loving the grape jelly! It’s wonderful to sit and listen to their sweet rich sounds and watch them eat. We don’t mind jelly on the window either! Lol.

  6. We have two feeding on oranges today in evart Mi. 5/10/2022. First one I have ever seen in Michigan!

  7. I just saw my first Baltimore Oriole here in Grand Ledge MI. It is April 26, 2022 at 1:20 P.M. We have tried to lure them to our yard for many years and this is only the second one we have witnessed. So happy!!!