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Orchard Oriole near Kronau

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  • tsb2001@sasktel.net
    Yesterday, I visited the Kronau area in search of Orchard Orioles. I arrived early as I had to be back in the City by just after nine. Since it was cool (4C),
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 2, 2011
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      Yesterday, I visited the Kronau area in search of Orchard Orioles. I arrived early as I had to be back in the City by just after nine. Since it was cool (4C), I was worried that my target species would not be singing. I think they are much more vocal when it is warmer. Of course many birds exhibit this preference.

      My particular scanning approach is to listen for song or call notes as well as check species in flight at locations associated with kingbirds. From my experience,Orchards often nest in close proximity to either kingbirds species . My theory is that the Orioles benefits from the aggressiveness of both kingbird species to thwart cowbird predation and protect the eggs and nestlings from predators such as corvids. It is just an opinion though.

      I was unable to hear any Orchard's at the townsite or at two other nearby farm shelterbelt locations which I regularly check.. It was so chilly that the kingbirds were mostly catching a few early rays, silent and inactive.

      I continued on the first grid north towards White City planning a quicker trip to possibly see the Northern Cardinal. (I have had no updates since Sunday). By the time I arrived it was perhaps too late for song as it was already near eight. Cardinals which stray here typically sing very early and are easily silenced by activity in the area. I did not see or hear the bird.

      During the drive, I lowered my windows and drove slowly when passing several roadside farm shelterbelts and the smaller isolated aspen groves. Eventually, I heard and saw an adult male Orchard singing within a smaller roadside patch of aspens in a lightly grazed pasture.

      Pastures or cropland with patches of woods are typical breeding locations for the species during both winter and summer. I saw Orchard Orioles forage in roaming blackbird type flocks in savannah habitat during January in Panama.

      When breeding, they utilise fresh green grasses for nesting materials which renders their basket like nest almost invisible within dense clusters of leaves. Later these grass nests 'cure' and become yellow. Then the nest is much more visible.

      Once the young have hatched the adults forage extensively in crops, alfalfa fields and lush grassland obtaining caterpillars among other prey items.

      Adult male Orchard Orioles can appear black in low light conditions. First year males resemble the slender mostly green females except for a smaller black bib. These 1st year males occur more as pioneering birds or strays. Once an area is colonised adult males become more common. These first breeding plumaged males are sometimes misidentified as Hooded Orioles

      Here is the link to a superb video of an adult male Orchard Oriole.

      (Listen also for the plaintive song of an Eastern Wood Pewee in the background. If you live near the Souris River near Roche Percee or Moose Mountains, Eastern Qu'Appelle or Duck Mountain as well as other locations this species can be seen or heard.)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVqQKMMGoUs&feature=related

      This link has both the song and the chatter notes of the Oriole. It also utters a single blackbird 'chuck' note.

      http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Orchard_Oriole/sounds

      Other species observed in pastures during my drive included a couple of Upland Sandpipers and a Sprague's Pipit.

      Enjoy your birding
      Bob L
      Regina


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Kevin
      How commone are orchard orioles in SK? I ve only seen them once that I can remember - at a ranch B&B south of Mankota where I stay back in 1990 or 1991 for
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 3, 2011
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        How commone are orchard orioles in SK? I've only seen them once that I can remember - at a ranch B&B south of Mankota where I stay back in 1990 or 1991 for the Nature SK meeting. The owners said they had them every year and breeding. I've always thought of them, when I think of them which isn't all that often, being more of a SW bird until your message about Kronau.

        Kevin

        Orchard oriles to me are rather like a Bruce Cockburn quote: "Woke up thinking about Turkish drummers. Didn't take long, I don't know much about Turkish drumming."



        --- In Saskbirds@yahoogroups.com, tsb2001@... wrote:
        >
        > Yesterday, I visited the Kronau area in search of Orchard Orioles. I arrived early as I had to be back in the City by just after nine. Since it was cool (4C), I was worried that my target species would not be singing. I think they are much more vocal when it is warmer. Of course many birds exhibit this preference.
        >
        > My particular scanning approach is to listen for song or call notes as well as check species in flight at locations associated with kingbirds. From my experience,Orchards often nest in close proximity to either kingbirds species . My theory is that the Orioles benefits from the aggressiveness of both kingbird species to thwart cowbird predation and protect the eggs and nestlings from predators such as corvids. It is just an opinion though.
        >
        > I was unable to hear any Orchard's at the townsite or at two other nearby farm shelterbelt locations which I regularly check.. It was so chilly that the kingbirds were mostly catching a few early rays, silent and inactive.
        >
        > I continued on the first grid north towards White City planning a quicker trip to possibly see the Northern Cardinal. (I have had no updates since Sunday). By the time I arrived it was perhaps too late for song as it was already near eight. Cardinals which stray here typically sing very early and are easily silenced by activity in the area. I did not see or hear the bird.
        >
        > During the drive, I lowered my windows and drove slowly when passing several roadside farm shelterbelts and the smaller isolated aspen groves. Eventually, I heard and saw an adult male Orchard singing within a smaller roadside patch of aspens in a lightly grazed pasture.
        >
        > Pastures or cropland with patches of woods are typical breeding locations for the species during both winter and summer. I saw Orchard Orioles forage in roaming blackbird type flocks in savannah habitat during January in Panama.
        >
        > When breeding, they utilise fresh green grasses for nesting materials which renders their basket like nest almost invisible within dense clusters of leaves. Later these grass nests 'cure' and become yellow. Then the nest is much more visible.
        >
        > Once the young have hatched the adults forage extensively in crops, alfalfa fields and lush grassland obtaining caterpillars among other prey items.
        >
        > Adult male Orchard Orioles can appear black in low light conditions. First year males resemble the slender mostly green females except for a smaller black bib. These 1st year males occur more as pioneering birds or strays. Once an area is colonised adult males become more common. These first breeding plumaged males are sometimes misidentified as Hooded Orioles
        >
        > Here is the link to a superb video of an adult male Orchard Oriole.
        >
        > (Listen also for the plaintive song of an Eastern Wood Pewee in the background. If you live near the Souris River near Roche Percee or Moose Mountains, Eastern Qu'Appelle or Duck Mountain as well as other locations this species can be seen or heard.)
        >
        > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVqQKMMGoUs&feature=related
        >
        > This link has both the song and the chatter notes of the Oriole. It also utters a single blackbird 'chuck' note.
        >
        > http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Orchard_Oriole/sounds
        >
        > Other species observed in pastures during my drive included a couple of Upland Sandpipers and a Sprague's Pipit.
        >
        > Enjoy your birding
        > Bob L
        > Regina
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • tsb2001@sasktel.net
        Kevin Orchard Orioles are relatively common within the Estevan, Lampman, Oxbow and Roche Percee areas among others. They have generally invaded from the
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 3, 2011
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          Kevin
          Orchard Orioles are relatively common within the Estevan, Lampman, Oxbow and Roche Percee areas among others. They have generally invaded from the southeast and are moving northwest in the Province. It is difficult to know the extent of their range at this point. They arrive usually in later May and begin breeding quickly. They raise their young and within days are on the move back south as soon as the juveniles can fly well and begin to show signs of being as dependent.

          They have nested east of Buffalo Pound and at the north end of Last Mountain National Wildlife Area and in parks and communities along the eastern edge of the Lake.

          I have seen one at Lumsden a couple of years ago. I also saw a first year male at the town park near the Headquarters of the Grassland's National Park almost two decades ago.

          I suspect that the Newer Stokes Field Guide has their range accurately presented. They of course stray across the entire south.

          I go to Kronau because that location does regularly have birds and the access is good. I have seen them at other farmyards in the vicinity. If you know the song and calls it is pretty easy to find them in that area. The problem is that lurking near farmyards and within smaller towns is often not advisable.

          I placed the links to the song and calls in order that birders will be alerted when the Orioles arrive. Most people will hear them before they see them unless you have sliced oranges which will lure them in.

          Enjoy your birding
          Bob


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Kevin
          To: Saskbirds@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Friday, June 03, 2011 7:41 AM
          Subject: [Saskbirds] Re: Orchard Oriole near Kronau



          How commone are orchard orioles in SK? I've only seen them once that I can remember - at a ranch B&B south of Mankota where I stay back in 1990 or 1991 for the Nature SK meeting. The owners said they had them every year and breeding. I've always thought of them, when I think of them which isn't all that often, being more of a SW bird until your message about Kronau.

          Kevin

          Orchard oriles to me are rather like a Bruce Cockburn quote: "Woke up thinking about Turkish drummers. Didn't take long, I don't know much about Turkish drumming."

          --- In Saskbirds@yahoogroups.com, tsb2001@... wrote:
          >
          > Yesterday, I visited the Kronau area in search of Orchard Orioles. I arrived early as I had to be back in the City by just after nine. Since it was cool (4C), I was worried that my target species would not be singing. I think they are much more vocal when it is warmer. Of course many birds exhibit this preference.
          >
          > My particular scanning approach is to listen for song or call notes as well as check species in flight at locations associated with kingbirds. From my experience,Orchards often nest in close proximity to either kingbirds species . My theory is that the Orioles benefits from the aggressiveness of both kingbird species to thwart cowbird predation and protect the eggs and nestlings from predators such as corvids. It is just an opinion though.
          >
          > I was unable to hear any Orchard's at the townsite or at two other nearby farm shelterbelt locations which I regularly check.. It was so chilly that the kingbirds were mostly catching a few early rays, silent and inactive.
          >
          > I continued on the first grid north towards White City planning a quicker trip to possibly see the Northern Cardinal. (I have had no updates since Sunday). By the time I arrived it was perhaps too late for song as it was already near eight. Cardinals which stray here typically sing very early and are easily silenced by activity in the area. I did not see or hear the bird.
          >
          > During the drive, I lowered my windows and drove slowly when passing several roadside farm shelterbelts and the smaller isolated aspen groves. Eventually, I heard and saw an adult male Orchard singing within a smaller roadside patch of aspens in a lightly grazed pasture.
          >
          > Pastures or cropland with patches of woods are typical breeding locations for the species during both winter and summer. I saw Orchard Orioles forage in roaming blackbird type flocks in savannah habitat during January in Panama.
          >
          > When breeding, they utilise fresh green grasses for nesting materials which renders their basket like nest almost invisible within dense clusters of leaves. Later these grass nests 'cure' and become yellow. Then the nest is much more visible.
          >
          > Once the young have hatched the adults forage extensively in crops, alfalfa fields and lush grassland obtaining caterpillars among other prey items.
          >
          > Adult male Orchard Orioles can appear black in low light conditions. First year males resemble the slender mostly green females except for a smaller black bib. These 1st year males occur more as pioneering birds or strays. Once an area is colonised adult males become more common. These first breeding plumaged males are sometimes misidentified as Hooded Orioles
          >
          > Here is the link to a superb video of an adult male Orchard Oriole.
          >
          > (Listen also for the plaintive song of an Eastern Wood Pewee in the background. If you live near the Souris River near Roche Percee or Moose Mountains, Eastern Qu'Appelle or Duck Mountain as well as other locations this species can be seen or heard.)
          >
          > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVqQKMMGoUs&feature=related
          >
          > This link has both the song and the chatter notes of the Oriole. It also utters a single blackbird 'chuck' note.
          >
          > http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Orchard_Oriole/sounds
          >
          > Other species observed in pastures during my drive included a couple of Upland Sandpipers and a Sprague's Pipit.
          >
          > Enjoy your birding
          > Bob L
          > Regina
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >






          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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