Toad in the Hole

May 30, 2004

Yard Bird

Late yesterday afternoon, at the back door, looking out at the row of little trees by the fence, I see a goldfinch... No, it's an oriole. An adult female hooded oriole, in fact. John, a birder who lives a few blocks north of us, had mentioned seeing them in his yard. They're supposed to be a lot rarer here than northern/Bullock's orioles, but every now and then we see one. It must have been 15 years ago that we found a nest, not in a thatch palm where they're s'posed to be found, but in a curbside sycamore that got cut down the next year for a school expansion. Last year or the year before, we had a trio of juvie males come through, scoping out the hummingbird feeder maybe.

Like them, this one came and went -- spoke not a word but flew over the house and disappeared. Early for the kids to be all fledged; I wonder if there's a nest somewhere close. However, we haven't heard any orioles singing here this Spring. Maybe they nest earlier than the Bullock's orioles out on Mines Road.

Once upon a time, hooded orioles were rare enough to show up on the Rare Bird Alert -- we took buses over to some palm in San Francisco years ago and were excited when our patience gave us first looks at the bird, a bit out of normal range but nesting. Now I wonder if they're slipping in, adapting to cities, getting local.

Posted at May 30, 2004 05:57 AM


For a couple of years, we got a hooded oriole regularly in our yard in Fremont. A neighbor has a washingtonia palm, and I'm sure it nested there. I thought it was a huge goldfinch at first, too. It loved our hummingbird feeder.

Here he is:

What a patch of sunshine. . . .

Posted by: mary at June 14, 2004 04:47 AM