Saturday, November 12, 2011

Baltimore Orioles, yet again!

Last week I had a call from Pamela Mainwarring who told me that she had some visiting Baltimore Orioles in her yard. I decided to drop over the next morning to check it out. Indeed, there were Baltimore Orioles.

At first they stayed under the cover of much of the greenery in her and neighboring yards. I would catch a glimpse of one every now and again and decided to just wait it out until they came out into the open. After about 30 minutes they seemed to have gotten comfortable with my just standing there and began to come around.
There was one real "stunner." The yellow and orange just popped!  It may be that this bright bird is an immature male. Every time it got into the sunlight, it glowed.
It finally perched on a branch out in the open and sat for quite a while. Perhaps it was just taking in all of the sights and sounds.  This yard is like no other.  It is filled with bird houses, multiple types of feeders including Hummingbird feeders and Baltimore Oriole feeders topped with fresh orange halves.
 The yard is often alive with bird song and is a frequent home to many Juncos, Pine Siskins, Purple Finch, American Goldfinch, Common Grackles, American Crows, Blue Jays and Pigeons.  Last year it hosted a large and very hungry flock of Bohemian Waxwing. On one day I even caught a Downy Woodpecker feeding on the suet.
 All of this bird activity draws in a lot of birds and Ms. Mainwarring is ready for them.  She will prepare special meals suitable for the species and work very had to see that they are well cared for in her yard.  While not a birder in the sense that she would travel to see birds, she is an avid backyard birder like no other. Not only does she welcome many birds to her yard but she is always happy to see birders come to enjoy her flock.
This last week there were three Baltimore Orioles in the yard.  While the golden dream was sitting on the branch, a bird of more subtle colors showed up peering out through the leaves.
 It, too, became more bold and showed itself full-on.
 With one on the branch and one in the tree another one popped out and landed on the wire. It seems to still have some berry juice on its beak from the Yew berries in the yard. The Orioles are not going to the feeders yet. This may be due to the abundance of berries on trees and shrubs in the surrounding area.
The Baltimore Orioles on Blackhead Road seem to have disappeared. Is it possible that those same birds have now moved into town looking for calmer weather and easier food supplies?  I guess we will never really know but it is always a thrill to have an uncommon, colorful bird show up in one's yard.

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