“Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Naturalist Jim McCormac, who writes a column for the Columbus Dispatch, recently wrote about the abundance of orioles that have flocked to Ohio this spring. He referred to it, as “The spring of the oriole.” We have certainly experienced that in our area.
We have never had so many orioles visiting the hummingbird and orange feeders. Not just ours but sightings from others in our area as well. Apparently birders over much of the eastern U.S. have reported above-average numbers.
We certainly have enjoyed sitting on the front porch and watching the showy birds visit the feeders. While there were a half a dozen or so early on, the numbers have decreased to what seems to be, two regular males. One is very bright, orange, and the other a little less flamboyant. Not shy, the males always announce their arrival with boisterous song and scolding chatter. They have become accustomed to us, and if we, and the dogs, sit quietly they sip their fill then fly off.
I even put some sugar water in the ant trap and the birds quickly learned they could sip from it.
The females tend to be much shyer and sneak in visits when the porch is vacant. The females also make regular visits to eat the crumbled up eggshells we scatter on the ground near the feeders.
Early on, as the females were arriving, I placed some string and twine on the fence and they quickly found it and made regular visits shopping for nesting materials. I wish I could watch as they weave their amazing nests. Only after the leaves have fallen have we been able to spy one of their nests.
How many orioles do you count in this little lilac bush on the left? If you said four, you got it right.
We will miss them when the nesting season is over and they head back to their tropical homes further south. Whatever the reason/s for such an abundance of orioles this year, I hope we’ll see other years with so many.