Hotline Photos

Juvenile Bullock's Orioles

Tuesday, 23 Jun 2009
Logan, Utah

I live near the mouth of Logan Canyon with the Logan River running behind my property. I have a pair of Bullockís Orioles nesting high in a river birch near the bank of the river. When I got home from work last night my back yard was in chaos. The Orioleís baby had finally left the nest and had fluttered to a tall poplar tree nearby. The parents were fighting to give their fledgling space from six magpie babies, a robin chick, and two squirrels that were trying to occupy the same space. I watched as the Bullockís parents and a very stout robin made aerial bombardments on the magpies and squirrels. The squeaks, squawks, and rants from the whole bunch had my little Pug dog all stirred making muffled ruffs as she stared out my back door in wonderment. The scathed magpie parents led their brood up the bluff away from the barrage and the squirrels eventually took cover in a dense conifer nearby. The stout Robin sat on a low limb and chipped repeatedly boasting over her victory. I do believe she was the toughest of the bunch. The robin chick flew off with its presumed mother, and the Orioles chattered from high in the poplar encouraging their bewildered youngster to climb up to them. All the while a Northern Flicker was undaunted by the ruckus and continued to dig up an ant bed in my rock garden while the war of the parent birds played out overhead. After the squabble was over, I was able to catch a few glimpses and quick photos of the Baby Oriole hiding in the tall Poplar trees.

Oh -- and the moral to the story: Donít place a bird feeder full of fruit and nuts in the vicinity of nesting birds. Yes, I felt very guilty as my wife exclaimed that the backyard scuffle was entirely my fault. Just another lesson learned about birding Ethics....but Iím learning. J

Since Iím a novice birder (as you can tell)....does anyone know if you can determine the gender of the Bullockís Oriole chick at this stage? Iím sorry the pictures arenít the best. The little fledgling stayed pretty well hidden in the depths of the tree.

Mike Fish

         Photos by Mike Fish

Photos by Mike Fish

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