Thursday, May 16, 2013

Orchard Orioles all over

The last week was a very productive one for Baltimore Orioles in my experience as I found them at Stratford Point, in my neighborhood, at Long Beach, and many other locations. It was also surprisingly active for Orchard Orioles along with them as I found singing males at Short Beach, Stratford Great Meadows, and Stratford Point as well, a place they have nested every year since I started surveys there for Connecticut Audubon Society in 2009. Here's one of those singing males...

You can tell that this bird is in its second spring at least very easily as Orchard Orioles are a bit unique in that first-year males look drastically different than the full adults. Take a look at just how dissimilar they appear with this photo of a first-year male singing at Stratford Point last summer.

He successfully found a mate and formed the pair that nested on the property in 2012. At this point of the season many orioles of both species are passing through and most will vacate many of the areas you see them now. However, there will be a decent number of Baltimores that stick around and a handful of Orchards scattered across the state in acceptable habitats. Watch for Baltimore Oriole nests hanging from the trees along woodland edges this summer and Orchard Oriole nests packed in on a branch on a small tree or shrub in an open type of setting (like, oh, an orchard).

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician

Photos by Scott Kruitbosch © Connecticut Audubon Society and not to be reproduced without explicit CAS permission

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