Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Orange You Glad

I know, it’s a corny title for this post, but there it is.  And it’s all because of the orioles migrating through the region.  This time it’s a Bullock’s Oriole. 

It took me a while to adjust to the splitting of the Northern Oriole into two different species.  Their field marks are distinctive, though.  There has been some interbreeding between the Bullock and the Baltimore in the Great Plains.  Fully breeding males of the two species are easily recognized.  Concentrating on the head, the Baltimore is completely black while the Bullock has a lot of orange invading the cheek and eye regions (actually a stripe of black through the eye adjacent to an orange supercilium).  Next, the wing is barred in white for the Baltimore, but the Bullock’s wing has a large distinctive white patch.

The difficulty is in the immatures.  The above photographs are of a Bullock first year male.  The clues are the dark throat patch and the eye line.

Photographs by Bill Ravenscroft

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home