Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bird a Day: Orchard Oriole

Orchard Orioles are lesser known than their cousins the Baltimore Oriole, probably because there isn't a baseball team named after them.  Nevertheless they are beautiful birds with deep reddish-orange and black plumage.  They are found in orchards (duh!), mid-succession fields, and along streams and wet areas.  It might surprise you that they are actually blackbirds and belong to the family Icteridae.  They construct hanging nests that they weave out of vegetative material like grass and plant down.

Orchard Oriole

Orchard Oriole

They are medium sized birds though they are the smallest of the North American Orioles.  They have brick red and black markings, a long tail, a thin pointed bill, and wingbars.  They are sexually dimorphic like the Blue Grosbeak.  Females are yellow-green but still have the white wing bars and pointed bill which set them apart from the similar female tanagers.


Bob Zeller said...

I saw several of them here a few days ago, but was unable to get a shot because they stayed hidden pretty much. Your image are great!!


Kristi Hines said...

Pretty bird, and great focal point in both shots!

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