Monday, September 17, 2012

Baltimore Orioles are Back

Baltimore Orioles seem to be annual visitors to Newfoundland during migrations. Several have even stayed well past the usual time.  This great male Baltimore Oriole lingered around a great feeder in Fermeuse two years ago. It was stunning.
Last year three females stayed around town at a feeder well into Winter on Exerter Drive. When the colors all disappear in winter and the town looks gray, it is a welcome sight to see such a vibrant bird hanging around.  I attached these older images, actually, for a point of comparison to the bird I found at Cape Spear on Saturday morning.
Further to the context of the find was the fog I had to contend with.  This shot denotes when I first saw the bird. Identifiable as a Baltimore Oriole but very little detail could be seen.
With a little patience and extra time, I was able to get some closer and more defined images. Once again with a little help of Photoshop, I was able to clear the shots up a little. This bird is different from the two included in the pictures above.
The belly has not yet turned yellow and there is the emergence of a dark color on the head. With the white belly, I began to wonder if this might be a more rare Bullock's Oriole.  I studied my pictures and the guides.  Perhaps, I am not applying the standards used by more experienced birders, but it was the scaly look on the upper back that led me to confirm the ID of a Baltimore Oriole. Of course, I couldn't see this when the bird was flying about, but it shows very clearly in this picture. The Bullock's Oriole also has a dark line through its eye and a yellow brow over it.
All things considered, I concluded that my new Baltimore Oriole for this year is an immature male, not nearly as well developed as the illustrations in my guides, but an immature male, nevertheless.
We may have an opportunity to see several more of this species before the season passes, and I thought it might be interesting to try to make the identification on the "fly." Perhaps this info and these pictures will help others to do the same.

No comments:

Post a Comment