Three Baltimore orioles breezed by me on Friday, May 12th. I was watching a dickcissel sing to the sunrise. The Baltimore orioles chased one another along the path by Saylorville Lake and then disappeared into the trees. One came back along the path and paused for a moment on a dried plant stalk.
On Sunday morning, I heard the sweet melody of a Baltimore oriole in the trees by The Bison and Elk Enclosure. I walked along the road looking for the flash of his orange feathers. He kindly sang and looked for food only a little above my head so I could watch without straining my eyes.
The Baltimore orioles multi-task. They sing as they fly from branch to branch and tree to tree looking for insects. They are the same size and in the same family as the red-winged blackbirds.
The red-winged blackbirds stay here all year. They start calling and claiming their territory at the beginning of March. They build their nests close to the ground in clumps of cattails or thick stands of other plants.
Friday was the first sighting of a Baltimore oriole this year. I thought I heard one singing outside of my window last week, but I wasn’t sure. They build their distinctive hanging basket nests in the trees.
On Monday morning at sunrise, a Baltimore oriole was singing by Saylorville Lake. His song was different from the one I heard the day before. Sunday’s Baltimore oriole had a jaunty extra two note trill in his melody.
May 12, 2017
A dickcissel singing at sunrise by Saylorville Lake, Jester Park, Iowa, May 12, 2017. A song sparrow and other birds sing and chatter in the background.
May 14, 2017
A Baltimore oriole singing, Jester Park, Iowa, May 14, 2017. An American robin and other birds sing and chatter in the background.
May 15, 2017
A Baltimore oriole singing at sunrise by Saylorville Lake, Jester Park, Iowa, May 15, 2017. A song sparrow and other birds sing and chatter in the background.
Take care and thanks for reading.