Saturday, July 10, 2010

Orchard Oriole

It's always a thrill to see Orchard Orioles. They generally prefer habitats with low density human population such as farms, parkland, floodplains, marshes, riparian zones, and they don't stay for very long. They arrive sometime in April, rear one brood and often migrate south again as early as mid July.

So following recent reports on the VT birding listserve I drove to the Putney Great Meadow, a vast field planted in part with corn, in part alfalfa and part clover. The birds were feeding on the invasive common buck-thorn along a railroad track at the far edge of the field. I was able to get some photos but only from a distance, so the quality is kind of low.

I believe it was a family of a male with a female and one fledgling but it could have been two fledglings. The fledgling looks similar to a female except for the bill which has a pink base instead of being entirely black.


Fledgling and male Orchard Oriole


A female was feeding on this Common Mullein (corrected - not Agrimony). But as soon as she spied me she flew off in a blur.

It's raining today, finally, after a paralyzing heat wave, time to catch up with house work, but there is all this activity outside my window....One in particular which over a long run would drive me crazy: the plaintive wee wee wee of a fledgling Rose-breasted Grosbeak, being quiet only for a moment when food is being stuffed down his beak. He keeps both parents working hard.  

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. really cool!! glad you found the spot. It's good for warblers in the spring too.

  2. HI Hilke,
    What a beautiful post once again. Two species I'll probably never see but they are beautiful!

  3. Nice descriptions of that birding environment. I often wonder what attracts them. It also makes me miss Vermont a bit.

  4. Excellent Orchard Oriole shots. They are very uncommon here in Ontario, just making a few appearance along Lakes Erie and Ontario coasts.

  5. It is always a treat to see orioles. And a bonus to see the grosbeaks! Glad you had such a productive outing.

  6. An exciting find - OROR have been reported there several times recently, including when we did the VBBA. Glad they're still around. wish I had had the time to go after them. Maybe next year.


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