Monday, May 26, 2014

Baltimore Oriole

Many of our friends have feeders for Baltimore Orioles, where the birds consume massive amounts of grape jelly. We seldom attract orioles at our feeding station. On Thursday two orioles appeared at our hummingbird feeder. I can not recall seeing orioles at hummingbird feeders, and we quickly put up a jelly feeder. The orioles fed at both feeders most of the afternoon. We have not seen either bird since.

I have previously blogged about some of the Baltimore Oriole’s strange taxonomy. Males do not acquire their brilliant plumage until the fall of their second year. Until then, they resemble females. These drab, spring, second-year males do occasionally attract mates and successfully raise young (Rising and Flood 1998). Baltimore Orioles are usually seasonally monogamous.

Our orioles are in the blackbird family. They are named for their superficial resemblance to Old World Orioles, a completely different bird family. Mark Catesby named the Baltimore Oriole in 1731, calling it the “Baltimore Bird,” since orange and black were the family colors of the Baltimores of Maryland Colony.

No comments:

Post a Comment