Orchard Oriole

Nancy Barrett

Toronto, Canada

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Artist's Description

Icterus spurius

Photographed at Point Pelee National Park, Ontario 12 May 2011
Nikon D90 with Sigma 150-500 mm lens

The smallest North American oriole, the Orchard Oriole is found nesting in shade trees along streams, rivers and lakes, and on farms and parklands. The rich chestnut color of the adult male can be so dark that he may appear all black before you get your binoculars on him.

Cool Facts
Only loosely territorial, the Orchard Oriole is often described as a “semicolonial” species in areas of prime habitat, but it is relatively solitary in marginal habitats. In areas of dense nesting, one tree may contain multiple nests.
The Orchard Oriole is a rather late spring migrant, but it heads back southward quickly. Some orioles may return to their wintering grounds as early as mid-July.
The Orchard Oriole eats nectar and pollen from flowers, especially during the winter. It is an important pollinator for some tropical tree species, transferring the pollen from flower to flower on its head. —Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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