Sunday, March 11, 2012

First Oriole of 2012

A week earlier than last year, first sighting of our spring/summer visiting orioles was Saturday, March 10. As last year, the first oriole to the backyard was a colorful male Hooded Oriole. He is probably scouting for  reliable food supply for his future family. Hooded Orioles are most likely sighted in most of San Diego county, Scott's orioles tend to be in the more arid parts of the county. Looking forward to the chatter and antics of several families of orioles spending the next few months hanging around.
I have a few feeders converted from hummingbird configuration to oriole friendly. Hopefully, there are still bee unfriendly. Seems as though this year may be more of a challenge regarding bees possibly due to the warmer than usual winter and much less than normal rain. We will see how the year progresses.
Speaking of spring visitors, I may have seen the first Rufus or Allen's hummingbirds at the feeders. The sighting was of a female so coloration is much more subtle and thus more difficult to ID, but there seemed to be a lot of brown on the chest to tail area. The non migrating Anna's have very little brown, being more green and gray with slight patches of red on the throat for the females. Of course, the male Anna's have the very striking head coloration that looks either black or brilliant red depending on the sun angle.

Update - March 11 Sunday
We saw 2 Hooded Orioles at the same time today, good evidence of the birds making their spring showing. Also, pretty confident sighting of a male Allen's hummingbird - notable for being one of the 2 hummers that are mostly brown.

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