Saturday, March 16, 2013

First Hooded orioles of 2013

Update April 16
Pretty good activity at the feeders lately, both orioles and hummingbirds. Feeder refill rate is going up a bit, getting closer to 2 gallons per day. On a sad note - said goodbye to an old male Anna's hummer this morning. He passed away overnight. I could see he was slowing down lately, but he would still guard his favorite feeder and chase away intruders!
A fresh capture from one of the 'birdcams' in the backyard - an adult male hooded oriole stopping in for breakfast! Reminder - clicking on the image in the Time Lapse window will start a 24 hour video loop (maybe closer to 36 hours).

Update Saturday April 6
A better day today. And a couple of first sightings. First Rufus Hummingbird seen at the feeders. First male anyway, females are very hard for me to tell apart. And first hooded oriole offspring this year. A young male, same story with orioles - I may have seen a young female, wouldn't have known.
Also, First snake in the yard for several years. Probably 4 foot long gopher snake, very lumpy. Either carrying eggs or helping to keep mice population down. Hopefully, the latter - either way is OK.
 A blackchinned and Anna's hummers snacking

A couple of shots of diving hummers!

Update April 5
Sad day for orioles in the backyard. We heard a rustle then plaintive cries, then a female oriole was carried away by a sharpshinned hawk late this afternoon. Not an easy thing to hear and see.

Giving the lady orioles a little blog time..
Afternoon break

Update March 24
Spotted 3 adult males this afternoon chattering at the feeder corner of the backyard. Hopefully that means at least three pairs/families this year.

Update March 17
The first 'pair' of hooded orioles have been sighted, adult male and female flew up to feeder while I was relaxing in the backyard. A short while after, a fairly confident sighting of 2 females. Could be up to 3 returning birds from last year.

March 15-2013 Just sighted the first Hooded oriole of this year on March 15th, Friday afternoon. It was a brightly colored male at one of the feeders. The arrival is  a week later than last year, but a day earlier than the year before that (2011). That's pretty consistent. 
They have been sighted about 10 miles north a few days earlier and a day earlier about 7 miles to the south. I knew they were in the area, but I have been worried about the sharpshinned hawk who has been hanging out in the backyard for a couple months. The hummers are not bothered (though a couple have met their demise), but we will see if the orioles stay.
No photos yet!
Still no photo - but a video capture from backyard webcam - not great resolution.
Hummingbird feeder has been 'converted' to  oriole/hummer feeder by removing the plastic flowers on the base. This works fine until bees start showing up.

Ten days later, Lunchtime!