Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Wednesday Wings - Northern Oriole

Many years ago in my youth these beautiful birds were known as "Baltimore Orioles". They looked so pretty in my bird book and I longed to see one in person, but it didn't happen. (Yes, I was a childhood bird nerd.)

Now I'm blessed to live in my own private bird sanctuary. Every May the Northern Orioles arrive from Central and South America to brighten up our spring and nest in the tops of our tall oak trees at the back of the property.

This (top picture) is the male, a little smaller than a robin and so brightly colored he's impossible to miss as he flies around in the still leafless oaks.

Orioles are known for their interesting nests. They weave a hanging bucket attached to a high branch that's an engineering masterpiece.

This is the female, more yellowish and not as bright as the male but equally attractive.

The Orioles aren't interested in bird seed. We lure them up by the house by setting out oranges. After their long migration trip, they can't resist the sweet fruit.

After about a week, they're rejuvenated and ready to put all their efforts and energies into nest building and raising a family. The oranges go untouched except to be hauled away by the chipmucks.

I've read that some people are able to keep the orioles coming to the feeder area by providing Welch's grape jelly. I've tried this in years past and attracted nothing but ants. Our area is so rich in other food the grape jam is unappreciated.

For those who love looking at Oriole pictures, the are two more "male with an orange" shots in last year's Oriole post.

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