8 Birds That Are ORANGE in Kentucky! (ID Guide)

In this informative article, readers will discover eight different bird species that have vibrant orange plumage and can be found in the state of Kentucky. From the familiar American Robin to the stunning Baltimore Oriole, each bird is described in detail, highlighting its identifying characteristics and preferred habitat. The article also provides range maps and offers tips on how to attract some of these orange birds to backyard feeders. Whether you’re a bird enthusiast or simply curious about the colorful avian residents of Kentucky, this guide is sure to captivate and educate.

American Robin

Identifying Characteristics

The American Robin is a beautiful thrush with distinguishing features that make it easy to identify. It has a rusty orange breast and a dark head and back. One key feature is the white throat and white splotches around the eyes. Both male and female robins have similar characteristics, although females tend to appear paler. The American Robin is one of the most familiar orange birds in Kentucky.

Habitat and Behavior

American Robins can be found in a wide variety of habitats, from forests to the tundra. They are comfortable around people and are commonly seen in backyards. While they are abundant, robins rarely visit bird feeders because they don’t eat seeds. Instead, their diet consists of invertebrates such as worms, insects, and snails, as well as fruit. They are known for pulling up earthworms from the grass in backyard.

American Robins commonly nest near people, and their nests can be easily recognized. They are open cup-shaped nests that often contain 3-5 blue colored eggs. These nests are distinctive and beautiful additions to the landscape.

Range Map

The range of the American Robin covers a large area of North America, including Kentucky. Their range map shows that they can be found throughout the state.

Barn Swallow

Identifying Characteristics

The Barn Swallow is another orange bird that can be found in Kentucky. It has a rusty orange throat, forehead, chest, and belly, with a brilliant blue back and head. Its broad shoulders extend down to long, pointed wings, and it has a long, forked tail.

Habitat and Behavior

Barn Swallows are typically found in open areas such as meadows, fields, or farms. They are often spotted feeding on insects over bodies of water. In a fascinating behavior, these birds sometimes follow people while they mow their yards in order to feed on the insects that are kicked up by the mower.

Barn Swallows used to primarily nest in caves, but they have adapted to humans and now build their nests on artificial structures. These nests are made out of mud and can be found under bridges, tucked under the eaves of barns and stables, or on any man-made building near open fields.

Range Map

The range map of the Barn Swallow shows that it can be found throughout Kentucky, particularly in the eastern and central parts of the state.

Baltimore Oriole

Identifying Characteristics

The Baltimore Oriole is known for its bright orange plumage, making it one of the most striking orange birds in Kentucky. Males are a combination of orange and black with white wing bars. Females are more subdued in color, featuring duller orange tones and lacking a black hood and back.

Habitat and Behavior

Baltimore Orioles are relatively easy to attract to bird feeders as long as the right foods are provided. They are attracted to ripe fruits such as bananas, cherries, grapes, or berries. Orange slices are particularly effective in attracting them. Another favorite food of orioles is grape jelly, which can be placed in a cup to entice these birds. Orioles also enjoy drinking nectar from flowers, so setting out oriole-friendly nectar feeders can help attract them to your backyard.

Range Map

The range map of the Baltimore Oriole shows that it is a common bird in Kentucky, with its range covering the entire state.

Orchard Oriole

Identifying Characteristics

Male Orchard Orioles have a darker orange plumage, appearing rust-colored. Females are greenish-yellow with white wing bars on black wings.

Habitat and Behavior

Orchard Orioles are fairly common in Kentucky during the summer months. They tend to spend most of their time at the tops of trees and can be found in habitats such as the edges of rivers, swamps, lakeshores, open woodlands, farms, and scrublands. In the winter, they migrate south to Mexico and South America.

Unlike many other oriole species, Orchard Orioles are harder to attract to bird feeders. They are more likely to be seen searching for insects in shrubby vegetation or eating mulberries from a tree.

Range Map

The range map of the Orchard Oriole shows that it is found throughout Kentucky, but its range is more concentrated in the eastern and central parts of the state.

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Identifying Characteristics

Red-breasted Nuthatches are small songbirds with beautiful orange coloring on their underparts. They have a compact body, almost no neck, and a very short tail.

Habitat and Behavior

Red-breasted Nuthatches breed in northern North America, the western mountains, and the upper northeast. During winter, they can be found in various locations, including Kentucky. They are commonly found in coniferous forests, which contrasts with the habitat preference of White-breasted Nuthatches.

These small birds are frequent visitors to bird feeders in Kentucky. They have an active nature and are constantly on the move, searching for food.

Range Map

The range map of the Red-breasted Nuthatch shows that it is found in the northern part of North America, including parts of Kentucky.

Eastern Towhee

Identifying Characteristics

Eastern Towhees are large sparrows with a chunky body, a thicker triangular-shaped bill, and a rounded tail. Males have black upperparts, a rusty orange color on the sides, and a white belly. Females have warm brown upperparts, a light rusty orange color on the sides, and a white belly.

Habitat and Behavior

Eastern Towhees can be found living among thick brush along the forest edge, where they search for food on the ground under fallen leaves. They forage by hopping backward and scratching the ground with their feet.

These orange birds are often seen in backyards with thick shrubbery or overgrown wooded areas. They may also visit bird feeders to eat seeds that have fallen to the ground. Unfortunately, Eastern Towhees are sometimes taken advantage of by Brown-headed Cowbirds, which lay their eggs in towhee nests, at the expense of the towhee’s own young.

Range Map

The range map of the Eastern Towhee shows that it is found throughout Kentucky, with its range covering the entire state.

American Redstart

Identifying Characteristics

Male American Redstarts are black with bright orange patches on the tail, wings, and sides, with a white belly. Females are charcoal gray with a white belly and light yellow patches instead of orange.

Habitat and Behavior

American Redstarts are easily spotted in eastern Kentucky due to their bright orange coloring. They are typically found in open woods with mostly deciduous trees. During migration, they can be found in almost any area with trees.

These energetic birds use their bright orange coloring to hunt insects. They flash their tail feathers to startle insects into flight, then quickly snatch them out of the air. Their song is often compared to a sneeze, with a few short notes at the beginning and an abrupt, loud end.

Range Map

The range map of the American Redstart shows that it can be found in Kentucky, particularly in the eastern part of the state.

Blackburnian Warbler

Identifying Characteristics

Male Blackburnian Warblers have a brilliant yellow-orange face and throat with black stripes. Their bodies are striped black and white. Females have the same general pattern but are much duller and more yellow than orange.

Habitat and Behavior

Blackburnian Warblers are easily identified by their bright orange coloring and triangular eye patch. They are typically found in mixed forests, where they spend their time high in the treetops foraging for insects. To attract migrating Blackburnian Warblers, a birdbath or water dripper can be provided to entice them to leave their canopy roost in search of a drink.

Range Map

The range map of the Blackburnian Warbler shows that it can be found in Kentucky, particularly in the eastern part of the state.

Additional Help for Orange Raptors

Article: 9 Types of Hawks Found in Kentucky! (w/ pics)

For those who have seen an orange raptor and need help identifying it, an article is available that provides information and pictures of the various types of hawks found in Kentucky.

Article: The 3 Types of Falcons in Kentucky! (w/Pics)

Another helpful article is available for those who have seen an orange falcon and would like assistance identifying it. This article provides information and pictures of the three types of falcons found in Kentucky.

How to Attract Orange Birds to Your Backyard

Using ripe fruits

One effective way to attract orange birds to your backyard is to use ripe fruits such as bananas, cherries, grapes, or berries. Orioles are attracted to the color orange, so putting out orange slices can be particularly effective.

Using grape jelly

Another method is to place grape jelly in a cup. Orioles find grape jelly hard to resist, and you may also attract other birds such as catbirds and woodpeckers.

Using oriole-friendly nectar feeders

Orioles, like hummingbirds, love drinking nectar from flowers. By setting out oriole-friendly nectar feeders at your bird feeding station, you can take advantage of this fact and provide a food source that attracts these orange birds.

By using these methods, you can increase the chances of attracting orange birds to your backyard and enjoy the sight of these beautiful creatures.

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