Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Orchard Oriole

Orchard Orioles breed east of the Rocky Mountains, with highest densities in the northern Great Plains and the Southeast.  In Minnesota they are uncommon, with most seen in the southwest (Eckert 2002).  Erika and I found this second-year male on the Carleton College campus on 24 June 2011. (First year males are greenish like the females, but have black throats.) Orchard Orioles nest late in the spring and raise only one brood.  Where they are common, Orchard Orioles breed in loose colonies, with many nests in a single tree. They return to their Central American wintering range as early as mid-July (Scharf and Kren 2010).  This early departure results in few sightings during the fall migration.

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