Sunday, May 25, 2014

Summer 2014 Baltimore Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles have been really busy the past couple weeks.  They returned to our part of Wisconsin on May 3rd.  Some of the birds stop by for a while and then move on.  Several stay to build a nest and raise their families.  I believe we have at least three pair who are now nesting.  One pair has built a nest in a white poplar tree off our deck.  Other years they like the pin cherry trees.

It is fun to see them work on the nest.  It is amazing how they wrap and weave these fine grasses into a very strong bag-like nest.

They are very clever birds.  They position the nest so they will be hidden when the leaves fill in.  Last year we had a nest in a tree near the deck, and we didn't know it until the leaves fell in the fall.  This nest will be well covered as soon as the leaves are completely out.  They think they are hidden, but I can get a very good side view from our deck.  The little worm-like fruit appears first on the poplar trees.  When the fruit bursts open, it sends white cottony plumes all over.  If it's windy, it almost looks like snow flurries.  I don't care for that stage, but otherwise it is a pretty tree with fluttery leaves.

This is the cotton that flies all over the deck and gets stuck in the porch screens.

It will be a while before the eggs hatch and the birds fledge.  It usually takes two weeks to hatch and two more weeks before we see them. Then we will have to put out a jar of jelly a day to feed the families of young ones.  I love seeing them and look forward to their return every year.

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