Friday, June 29, 2012

Orchard Oriole

I have seen a number of birds over the years in the trees along the Patuxent that I have seen nowhere else.  There is one tree that, if you saw it, you wouldn't give it a second glance. But it has hosted more unusual birds (at least, unusual to me) than any other tree I know. Among the birds I have seen in it's branches that I have seen nowhere else are the Baltimore Oriole, the Yellow-billed Cuckoo, a black poll (male and female) and a young ground hog (yes, they can climb trees) munching on young shoots from the tree.

A few days ago, I saw a mostly yellow bird (I was looking up, so I was seeing the bottom of the bird) that I hadn't seen before and took some photos.  In almost all, different parts of the bird are hidden.  But I did take enough frames to record enough different parts to make an identification of it.  Actually, I sent it off to a friend who is a highly skilled birder and he made the identification of it.  I could only narrow it down to the family of orioles.

While he identified it as an orchard oriole, I still have misgivings.  The reason is the size of the bird.  An orchard oriole, the smallest of the orioles, is a little over seven inches in length, but I was struck by how large the bird was.  I would estimate it was closer to ten or eleven inches in length. I'm going to stick with my friend's ID, however.  He is a lot more experienced than I am.

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