Baltimore Oriole Nest Addendum

by Carl Strang

I ended Monday’s post by asking whether the heavy use of fishing line as nest material by a Baltimore oriole at Mayslake Forest Preserve was a peculiarity of the individual builder, or a consequence of the availability of material that any female might prefer. I have a tentative answer to that question. As leaves are falling from the trees, more nests are becoming visible. I was aware of a second Baltimore oriole nest by a different pair at the north edge of the savanna. A couple days ago I checked it out.

Despite being more than 50 meters from the lake, this nest likewise has much fishing line.

I know that this nest was made by a different female, as it was active at the same time as the one featured on Monday. I also found a third oriole nest from this season.

This was between the other two nests, and probably was a second nest of one of the two pairs. Again, much fishing line was used.

So it appears to be the material rather than the bird. These last nests concern me, as there is much line freely extended from them. Though birds probably will be able to stay clear, entanglement is a potential hazard.



  1. June 20, 2013 at 6:05 am

    […] The nest is sufficiently concealed by black cherry leaves that its composition is difficult to read, but I would be surprised if it is not constructed largely of fishing line, as has been the case for all recent oriole nests there. […]

  2. February 14, 2014 at 7:16 am

    […] line that are a potential entanglement hazard for birds. As I have previously documented here, orioles make use of some of the discarded line in their […]

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