Orioles – and not the sports team!

We had a crazy Spring. I say “had” because in a matter of a day, the cold, drab, barely-pushing-seventy degree weather is now over ninety degrees! I feel a bit cheated by the wet weather because I didn’t get out much to observe the birds coming back for their breeding season.

However, a few birds were easy to draw on the patio with irresistible treats of fresh orange slides and grape jelly. The most notable species which enjoy the sweet offerings are Orioles. But, Rose-breasted grosbeaks and a few others will come for a quick snack. But the Orioles have been visiting many times a day.

The jelly feeder is right at the edge of my office patio, which allows me to view the birds when they arrive. But, they don’t hang around if I break the threshold of the doorway. So, filming them required that I set up the tripod a couple feet inside the door, and I couldn’t move much. Scratching my nose caused one bird to fly off!

We have both Baltimore Orioles and Orchard Orioles that stick around all summer raising their chicks. I adore the sound of their vocalizations. And, their color – come on – it’s just amazing.

The Baltimore are far more brilliantly colored. I believe that are three different birds represented in this series.

The Orchard Oriole is a smaller bird. The males are more rusty orange compared to the Baltimore species.

I didn’t catch a female Baltimore on film, but a female Orchard Oriole showed up late in the day when I was returning to the yard. I shot these couple of images from the golf cart. The female Orchard Orioles are a lovely yellow color – you’d hardly know that the male and female were of the same species.

The last photos are of the Baltimore Orioles eating from the jelly jar hanging feeder. It’s a great invention. It comes with an empty jar, but a standard jar of jelly screws in place perfectly. There’s a lever that can be rotated to help the jelly drop down to the tray when gravity isn’t enough versus the little bit of vacuum sealing that can happen. I can tell when it needs to be maintenanced because the orioles will move over to the Hummingbird feeder and drink the nectar if they can’t access the jelly. curiously, Hummingbirds will also flick their long tongues into the grape jelly rather than go for the nectar at times!

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