The differences are subtle but are definitely there:
- The key to the orange oriole is the orange mantle
- hooded oriole has no orange on his wing--only black and white
- altamira has an orange but on its shoulder, and a different white spot on its beak
- The orchard oriole is a rusty colour--that's an easy one!
I almost didn't take this shot--Matt just kept on taking more and more and more shots of orioles until I said, "Ok, I think we have enough!" So glad we kept going though, because otherwise I wouldn't be able to count this lifer!
#213: Altamira Oriole; Mayan Riviera, Mexico (Barcelo Maya Resort) February 18, 2012
#214: Orange Oriole; Mayan Riviera, Mexico (Tulum), February 18, 2012
#215: Hooded Oriole; Mayan Riviera, Mexico (Barcelo Maya Resort) February 19, 2012
Funny story about this one. I had seen a painted bunting the day before, February 18, 2012. I wished I'd seen it a day later, as I wanted this special bird to be a birthday lifer (so arbitrary, I know). As we weren't seeing as many new birds at that point in the vacation, even though a little piece of me hoped for a birthday lifer, I knew it wasn't realistic. Anyways, as I was walking around the resort on February 19, I saw this bird, and thought, "it CAN'T be." Yep, it was. I took some crappy shots with my point and shoot, knowing full well that was the best I was going to get. A few hours later I headed back to the room and got the camera, and wouldn't you know, that bird was sitting literally in the same tree. And then I went back even later and it was still there! Anyways, I was extremely pleased to get myself a beautiful Orchard Oriole on my birthday :)
So in addition to these wonderful I have some other things that I have learned about orioles recently. First of all, I didn't see any of these in Mexico, but I just watched a documentary about Sian Ka'an in Mexico and they showed what an orioles nest looks like--I had no idea, but ..."The nest is a deep woven cup suspended like a hammock from a branch"...like this:
Pretty cool right? I haven't done much yet to attract orioles to my yard, but I see feeders for them at the store, and apparently they will gladly come to visit you. Here are some tricks:
- put out orange slices, grape jelly, fruit and berries in your yard in mid-May (Ontario)--you can hang them or place on a platform feeder. Apparently 7 feet up is ideal.
- orioles are also known to enjoy sugar water just like that in a hummingbird feeder, but in an oriole feeder (orange)
- plant orange flowers in your garden, or place orange decorations in your yard
- make sure shelter is available, and your oriole station is separate from other feeders/activities. Orioles are shy birds--if you are used to seeing them, you know that you normally hear them before you see them!
- this might seem pretty obvious but nix the insecticides/pesticides! A because it sucks and B because most birdies love insects!
I also saw a need little idea to help out our feather friends in the spring. Put some nesting material (yarn ends, bits of wool, etc.) in a suet feeder! Hey, maybe if you put some orange yarn in there, that could work for the orioles too :)
Also a head's up for birding photographers, there is a photo contest for birds of Canada through Canadian Geographic. You can win a trip to Ireland. Check it out...the competition is stiff but might be worth a shot! (haha...no pun intended....really)
back in a jiffy...cheerio!