Sunday, July 8, 2012

Oriole chews out cat, says rude things

Our cat is a hunter. I'm glad to say she brings us rodents, but I'm sorry to say she kills birds sometimes. The ratio is about 10:1, but still. Sigh.

We were out in the back yard today, and the cat was inside. We were chatting, and suddenly the bird-cussing-out began! And we looked up and spotted someone who looked just like this -- >

And we looked and we thought who is he ranting at? Then we realized that the cat had come out of the house a moment earlier. I thought, good eye! And we continued to look at this bird, and it came closer, and we realized it was a Baltimore oriole. He cussed through the trees, and he cussed on the power line, and he cussed in the ash tree riiiiight above my head. Eventually, went over and cussed off toward a mulberry, where he might nest.

As it turns out, these orioles breed in a fair chunk of eastern North America, about to the plains just to the east of the Rockies, clear up into Canada. Their migration for winter, though, takes them to Florida, Cuba, parts of Central America and South America. Some flyers, huh? They travel over land, which is how they and their cousins the Bullock's oriels do it, too.

The difference? I had to look it up, too: The colors are the same, but a Baltimore oriel has a black head. The Bullock's has an orange head with a black cap, black chin and black streak horizontally through it's black eye.--Sure, now I don't know which one it was.

Bullock's oriole is named for William Bullock, 1773–1849, an English traveler, naturalist, and antiquarian. He owned property near Mexico City, and when he went to visit, he killed ("collected") several birds new to science, including Bullock's oriole.

I know there are orchard orioles here, too, but their orange is a deep brick color, not a bright mango color.

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