by Diane Deming
When John and I returned from Florida last week we expected the return of the hummingbirds and orioles to be delayed because of the cooler than normal April. In spite of that we put out our feeders awaiting their arrival. To our surprise the orioles and a couple of hummers appeared on the 1st of May. The most surprising thing to us was the number of orioles we had visiting our orange feeders. We counted as many as 8 at one time and 3 of those were Orchard orioles. Male orchard orioles are a dark rust-colored red with black head, tail, and wings. Male Baltimore orioles are brilliant orange and black. The orchard orioles also tend to be smaller in size. In the photos and videos you will see the difference. Females of both species are olive or pale yellow in color. In the mix of orioles we also had another visitor who was interested in the oranges and the grape jelly; a male Rose-breasted grosbeak. The males are black and white with a deep rose-colored breast. A day later, May 2nd, they were feasting on the oranges and grape jelly all day. I love photographing these beauties and look forward to spring at Clark Lake every year!