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orioles

May 16, 2013 - 7:58am

It's that time of year when the small woodlots on either side of our property attract a variety of bird life, none more colorful than the Baltimore oriole. Though they didn't arrive as early or in such great numbers as last spring, they did arrive to feast on the small insects among the apple blossoms.

Having grown accustomed to their visits in recent years, by their song alone we know when the orioles have arrived. Their sound is distinct and pleasing to the ear.  

Partially obscured by apple blossoms, I'm guessing this to be a member of the warbler or finch family.

Here seen upside down in its quest for bugs, it was difficult to get a clear pic as it darted quickly about in search of food. 

A pair of fledgling robins seem uninterested in the juicy worm provided by their mother. Not a year passes when a robin has not failed to nest in our garage, always using one of two nests that have been in place for years and each year the same nest produces a double clutch.

A male and female goldfinch search the ground for a meal.

Morning sun highlights the crest of a pileated woodpecker.

Working its way around the tree, it has moved into the shade and this angle reveals the size of its bill.

A lone crow perched in the cottonwood.

The cottonwood towers above the other trees in the woodlot and it's in cottonwood where the crows often gather. This foursome no doubt has mischief on their minds, waiting to harass an unsuspecting hawk or waiting for the neighbors to take out the trash.

This photo was taken in late winter. At first I thought this crow was hard up for a meal as I've never seen a crow attracted to sumac drupes before. As I watched, he didn't eat the drupes, he tore them apart. Did it think something was inside? Or was it hell-bent on destroying the drupes because song birds eat them? And crows are notorious for raiding the nests of other birds and destroying eggs or killing the young.

May 17, 2012 - 9:55am
posted by JIM NIGRO in outdoors, nature, orioles.

Before gusting winds shook loose the last of the apple blossoms, we were able to get a few good pics of the orioles that always show up to dine on the insects that call the small white flowers home.

Whether or not they've already paired up, both the male and female partake of the feast.

This male really has his head into his work!

The apple blossoms and the insects inside provide a great opportunity to get oriole pics. Once the blossoms fall to the ground, the orioles don't return to the apple tree. But they do nest in the woodlots to either side of our home and despite the foliage there is no mistaking the orioles delightful sound.

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