Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Baltimore Oriole

While walking in the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge’s Bass Ponds on 5 June 2017, Erika and I , along with two other birders, happened upon a Baltimore Oriole acting strangely. It hopped overhead about the boughs of a maple tree.
We figured it must have a nest nearby, especially since it carried two green caterpillars in its beak. The caterpillar with a horn on its back is likely a sphinx moth. The oriole flew into a dense mat of leaves and dipped its head into a nest. In all my years of birding, this was the first active oriole nest I have seen.
For a few seconds, the oriole stood watch over the nest opening. (As you may know, oriole nests are woven, hanging pouches with an opening at the top.) The caterpillars were gone. No doubt a few satiated baby orioles enjoyed their caterpillar-lunch.

1 comment:

  1. My favorite bird. Marvelous photo work.
    Even with all our Orioles we have never seen this close
    of nesting, Thank J&K