Tom's Blog

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Orioles at Pleasant Valley Conservancy

We have lots of Baltimore orioles. They like open woodlands and forest edges, which is what we have a lot of at PVC. Among other locations, they are common around our cabin/shack. 

Among other things, they are attracted to the fresh oranges Kathie and Susan put out on the special feeder (see Kathie's photo). 
This orange feeder was made by Susan’s dad and is a fitting memorial to his interest in birds. According to sources, the orioles especially feed on fresh oranges soon after they arrive back in the spring. The idea is that after the long migration from the neotropics they seek out sources of sugar to replenish their reservoirs.

I was interested to learn from the Cornell Ornithology web site that a favored food of the oriole is the tent caterpillar moth, since we have had a lot of these in the wild cherry trees around the cabin the last several years.

At PVC we also see orchard orioles, a Special Concern species. This is another forest edge species. According to the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas, the orchard oriole often nests near Eastern Kingbirds, which makes sense since we've been seeing lots of kingbirds lately.


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