ARTISTS AND BIRDS
by Marilyn and Keith Davis
"Call From the Wild"
Bullock’s Oriole Nest
Every mother has heard these words time and time again . . . Mom, I’m hungry! Mom, how soon are we going to eat! And at the end of a really big meal . . . Mom, can I have another dessert? That’s how it sounded in my back yard. I could hear baby birds calling and calling, giving their mother the same routine . . . Mom, I’m starving.
The voices were in Bird Talk, but after raising lots of noisy children, I could decipher what was being said. So I went outside looking. When searching tall trees for hidden nests, it’s good to have something to lean against while looking up, that way you don’t fall over as often.
Wow! I found a beautiful Bullock’s Oriole making his way through the branches, and then another one in the direction of the call. The parents were on their way to feed those noisy babies. We have seen this bird in our neighborhood on rare occasions. A glimpse here and a glimpse there, but having an Oriole’s nest in our yard was a super surprise.
Baby Orioles spend most of their time in search of food. If they aren’t calling for their parents to feed them, they are watching for movement around them. Movement could mean food, like caterpillars, insects and spiders. The young make it a habit to hang out with their families, to follow them and learn where to find the sweetest fruits and the tastiest berries. Our apricots are almost ready to eat and I know we are going to have to share them with the Orioles. It’s a good thing I like my apricots a little greener than the Orioles do, that way I get first pick.
If you find a bright yellow bird with a bit of black on the throat, eye, top of head and wings, consider yourself fortunate. Get your camera ready and enjoy Orioles all year. Make yourself an Oriole feeder. One part sugar, six parts water, and be sure to put it in an orange container. Your Hummingbirds will be happy not to share their food with the Orioles! Marilyn Davis is the artist. If you would like to talk ‘birds’ or get information about Red Cliffs Audubon, call 435 673-0996 or go to our website at redcliffsaudubon.org .
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