Tag: songbirds

The Migratory Baltimore Oriole: Photography Challenge Day 79

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 spy an Baltimore Oriole in the tree….

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).

Either a female Baltimore Oriole or a young male Baltimore Oriole

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.

The male Baltimore Oriole sitting in the tree.

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.

The male Baltimore Oriole playing “peek-a-boo”

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.





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Sparrows and finches: Photography Challenge Day 32

Sparrow in the bushes.

So one of the things I’ve been trying to do is get more pictures of different song birds–and not just at the feeders around the house. I’ve been trying to see if I can manage to get some decent pictures of them in the “wild”.

Currently my main area of practice is up at Boomer Lake in the early to mid mornings. Since spring is just starting, there actually aren’t that many out in the afternoons–or if they are out they have a sense of when someone is trying to photograph them and they stay nice and quiet so that I walk right past them.

There are a large number of different sparrows that reside in the area. I have never been great at telling them apart–especially when I’m trying to keep the camera steady enough to get a single picture. This one had been bouncing around the branches and sat still just long enough for me to get this picture.

Yellow finch (or is it a warbler?) at the lake.

Then a week or so later I saw this yellowish warbler (or small finch) bouncing around and managed to get it’s picture. Though it could also be a vireo, or another type of song bird–but I do know that it wasn’t a sparrow.

I’m hoping as the weather warms up to be able to be out more with the camera and working on my nature photography skills. Birds, rabbits, squirrels, deer, and whatever else I hopefully spot before it spots me.

No Comments bird watchingnaturePhotography