Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Baltimore Orioles

It was a treat in March to see and  photograph my first Baltimore Orioles!  My friend and neighbor Richard Hayes has been attracting them to his backyard feeders with grape jelly.
In the above photo, an adult male (right) is in full-glory Oriole orange body and black head and wing tips.That's a juvenile male next to him.  Wild Birds Unlimited is where Richard got the small cone-shaped jelly dispensers.  He's been doing this for a few years and says the Orioles show up in November and stay for the winter as late as April.
Above is a female Oriole.  Quite a difference right? The female resembles other yellow-golden birds such as the Pine Warbler and American Golfinch. The long, straight beak is one lady Oriole distinction from those others.
With the male Oriole, there's no such uncertainty what he is!
Richard's jelly also attracts Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers!  This is a bird I've seen before in my own yard, usually pecking away on a tree.  This is the closest I've ever seen and photographed this type of woodpecker.
The Sapsuckers red throat helps distinguish it from other regional woodpeckers.
Richard kept the jelly cone filled to the brim for his many feathered friends, such as this female Oriole. The juvenile Oriole had to think life is good!
One last look at the male Oriole.  My neighbor let me come over three different weekend mornings when the birds are hungry for their jelly breakfast. 

Next fall I'm going to get my own special jelly dispenser!  Maybe I'll get some Orioles in my own backyard.