Friday, June 12, 2009

Fiery Hangbird (aka Baltimore Oriole)

This pretty boy appeared quite close to me as I was picking up my mail yesterday. I’d seen a Baltimore oriole in the same spot a week or so ago, also while I was picking up my mail, but that bird disappeared before I could haul out my camera. This time the bird was cooperative and didn’t flyaway for long enough for me to grab a quick shot or two.

I took several other shots but the bird moved so quickly up and down that fence rail that I usually only captured its hind end in the photo. The bird would be sitting atop the rail, I’d snap a photo but before the shutter clicked the bird was hanging along the edge of the rail and I didn’t have much to show for it. Finally, the bird sat still long enough for me to snap it sitting still before it flew off. It was only later when I zoomed in a bit on the photo that I realized what Mr. Oriole had been doing bobbing up and down that fence. See the bug in its mouth? Apparently, it was finding delicious little wormy things in that split rail fence.

If you’ve been birding as long as I have, you’ve lived through several name changes for a good many species. I first learned this bird as Baltimore oriole, then its name was changed to northern oriole and now it’s back to Baltimore oriole again. The bird also has several non-official names, including both hangbird and fiery hangbird. The fiery hangbird really fits, and this bird’s antics made me realize just how well that name fits.

Happy Friday!


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I set out some mealworms this morning and the Orioles found them right away. They filled their bills with 8-12 worms at a time and emptied the dish in minutes!

Carolyn H said...

Lynne, you are so lucky to have orioles come to your feeders. i've never been successful with that. I suspect I live too deep in the woods. I see them around the cabin but I think they live and feed out around the ski slopes.

Carolyn h.