Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Baltimore Orioles Over Winter in St. John's - 2012

 Considering where we are I guess you could say that we have had an abundance of Baltimore Orioles this year.  I am comfortable saying that I have seen at least eight from late summer until now. It was actually around the same time that they should have been southbound when they first showed up here.
At least two have decided to stay in St. John's over the winter.  They are eating well and showing very well. I am amazed at how colorful they are even in the height of winter. It seems that they haven't lost any of their breeding "glow."
Baltimore Orioles enjoy very ripe berries and other fruits that may be hanging on a tree as well as insects.  They have been going to special oriole feeders for nectar and more recently, they have showing an interest in eating from seed cakes hung from trees. They seem to be adapting well. Is it this abundance of food that has kept them with us?  There have certainly been plenty of winds upon which they could have departed.
Frankly, I am glad that they have stayed.  There is something really special about seeing their splash of color when much of Nature's color has faded away. I can only hope that they stick close to the food supply and make it through the winter. After all, they should be soaking up the warmth in their winter range of Central America.

Afterword:  Shortly after the New Year's fireworks many of the small birds vanished.  Maybe they took to the woods for safety.  There is no doubt that the sound and light celebrations frighten the birds. We are fortunate that we haven't found any casualties resulting from the big bangs but the ducks at Quidi Vidi Lake had quite a fright!

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