Today’s winner for the photography challenge is the Baltimore oriole that has decided to nest around Boomer Lake. These birds are yet another indication that spring is fully here and that summer is right around the corner.
I noticed several brightly colored birds flying around a tree and managed to stand still long enough that I manage to get a couple of decent pictures. One was definitely a mature male Baltimore oriole and the other was either a female or a younger male (as it was a lighter orange color).
The Baltimore oriole can be found east of the Rocky Mountains (and part of that range is actually their migratory paths for heading north). They winter down in Mexico, Florida, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Their diet consists of insects, berries and nectar. In terms of the insects, they eat caterpillars (even the hairy ones that other birds avoid), beetles, grasshoppers, wasps and spiders.
What are some other cool facts about Baltimore orioles?
They prefer only ripe, dark-colored fruits (mulberries, cherries, purple grapes) and will ignore other ripe fruit that aren’t as dark in color. They will also take sugar water as well.
The only thing New World and Old World orioles have in common is that they are brightly colored, have long tails and long bills, and build woven hanging nests. Old World orioles are in the family Oriolidae, while the orioles found in America are in the family Icteridae.
They raise three to six young a year (usually about four to five), and the female will incubate the eggs for about two weeks, and then after hatching both parents will feed the young. The young will usually leave the nest about two weeks after hatching.
In terms of how the Baltimore oriole will adapt to the continuing changes in temperatures is something that is still being studied—it may gain ground in terms of summer/breeding territory, but it could lose it’s winter grounds potentially in the southern US (namely Florida). As most of its winter grounds are in the tropics—more data will be needed to see how they would survive.