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Northern Oriole - Icterus galbula

No larger view available. Sorry

Description

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*Sorry about the poor quality photos, but they're  the only ones we have of Orioles. Male above, female below.
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Size: 7-8"

Male has black head, back, wings and tail. Bright orange breast, rump and shoulder patch. Female greenish yellow with dull yellow-orange underparts and two dull white wing stripes.

Voice: musical whistled single or double notes.

Range: Nova Scotia west to British Columbia and south throughout most of the United States. Winters in the tropics.

The Northern Oriole was thought to be two separate species; "Baltimore" in the east and "Bullocks" in the west. After trees were planted across the Great Plains, the two species met and began to interbreed. Now that they are beginning to choose mates of their own kind, they may soon become two species again.

In 1998 we spotted a pair trying to build a nest nearby, rushed to the store for an Oriole feeder only to have them disappear. Dutifully we hang up the Oriole feeder every Spring and keep it stocked till late Fall. We also have put out dozens of oranges in hope of attracting these beautiful birds. (Not to mention, cherry, apple, apricot, peach, pair, choke cherry and mulberry trees on our property.) So far it's been a waste of time for all we get is a rare glimpse at a passing Oriole, and always from a distance. I know the two pictures included are low quality but believe me I look at them as a major accomplishment just to have them.

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