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It’s that time of year where all the birds have one thing on their minds… makin’ babies! 🙂 The wrens have taken up residence in the large yellow bird house, the chickadees are in the bellows bird house and the sparrows (both the English and house varieties) have found spaces in the gutters (despite our attempts to discourage them. Sigh).

Looking down from one of my office windows, I can see the large arbor that extends over our garage. Two weeks ago, I watched this female robin tirelessly gather building materials for her nest.

“Material Girl” (North American Robin, Adult Female) Nikon D300, 420mm (VR 200-400mm F/4G lens with 1.4x Teleconverter), F/5.6, 1/160s, ISO 640

The nest is lovely and she barely fit inside of it when it was finished. However, with all the rain we’ve had in the last two weeks, I didn’t get a chance to scope out a spot where I can get a good camera angle on the actual nest itself (it is tucked within the trumpet vines just below the garage eaves…a very tricky spot, indeed). Sadly, this week the nest has been empty. 😦 (I am hoping this is merely a temporary situation and that it hasn’t been abandoned even before being utilized for its intended purpose). Stay tuned.

“Orange Crush” (Baltimore Oriole, Adult Female) Nikon D300, 550mm (VR 200-400mm F/4G w/1.4x Teleconverter), F/5.6, 1/80s, ISO 640


Over the weekend, a flash of orange streaked across the sky and I knew in an instant it meant the Orioles were back!! I immediately cut an orange and filled the rind halves with sweet jelly in the hope I could entice the little beauties to stay around.

I have no idea where the nest is being built but this morning, I spied two males and a female flitting about the yard. Good enough reason for me to haul out the large lens and tripod, dontchathink? 😉

“Getting Ready” (Baltimore Oriole, Adult Female) Nikon D300, 550mm (VR 200-400 F/4G w/1.4x Teleconverter), F/5.6, 1/100s. ISO 640


Now, while the brightly-colored male eluded my lens (must be related to the male cardinal, eh?) I was able to capture the female as she took 5 in a nearby tree, a tuft of freshly picked grass clasped in her beak.

Folks, I did my best paparazzi moves to capture these images! Even so, I was eventually spotted by the orange girl and she then decided the photo shoot was over.

Seeing that these are my first ever Oriole photos, I’m okay with that! 🙂


  1. Great images of the “Orange Crush.”

  2. i love your bird pics and your cookies!

  3. LOL in the last photo, at first glance it looked like a bird with whiskers !
    btw Paparazzi did good… the colours in these birds (all new varieties to my eyes) are beautiful!

    • Ha! A mustached Oriole…now there’s a prize-winning shot!! 🙂

      Thanks, Kiwi!

  4. I do not have any Oriole near my home. That is one bird that seems to be rare around here. Though it’s more likely I need to get out there and find them. Nice going and keep working on those paparazzi moves!

    • For us, they are an elusive bunch! Probably 10 years ago, a pair built their nest high in a tree on our property. Since then, we’ve only seen streaks of them as they fly through the yard. So, it is a treat to actually “see” them this year! I do hope they stay around!

      Thank you, Scott! 🙂

  5. So lucky (and skilled, too, of course) to capture such nice oriole photos. I’ve only seen them once, and they were gone in a flash (so to speak.) Sounds like they’re moving in to your neighborhood and that you’ll get to see more of them!

    • Why, thank you, Barbara! 🙂

      I think you’re right! I was out thsi afternoon, tossing peanuts to the chipmunks (a favorite passtime) when I saw the male high up in a nearby tree, searching the leaves and small branches for items to eat (insects, fruit, etc.) all the while sending out chirps and calls to his lady. I’m trying to see if I can establish a pattern for them with the hope of catching a photo of the striking fellow! 🙂

  6. she’s giving you the eye for sure in that last pic!! Great stuff and you’ve done a good job capturing the homemaking going on in your backyard.

    • Thank you, Derrick! 🙂

      I always have to go after the challenging subjects, eh? I could have easily opted for the chickadees, wrens and sparrows, but noooooo, it’s the hard-to-get oriole that I must stalk! 😉

  7. LOVE your Oriole shots. You are so lucky that they nest nearby, here we are just a feeding grounds on their way north. I have yet to see any this year. I’m a bird lover too and take great joy in their songs that continue all day long. Just this morning a baby bird flew into our garage and Stella got it before we figured out that it was indeed a baby just learning to fly. Luckily it was stunned enough (probably more scared by my freak out than the gentle mouthing of Stella) for my husband to scoop it up with a lacrosse stick and deliver it safely into a nearby pine tree where hopefully the mama was able to locate it. We have birds that nest in our house in holes created by woodpeckers which will be repaired after this nesting season.

    • Thanks, Becky! 🙂

      I can commisserate as, in past years we, too, have been merely a ‘fly-thru’ yard. Sigh. They do appear to be nesting nearby (soooooo hoping I find the nest!) and I hear their chatter when I go out. (Oh, and yesterday, I saw a female hummingbird just outside our kitchen window!! So cool! 🙂 )

      Oh, I hope that little bird is okay! I’ve been seeing many, many fledglings. In fact, I was a little worried about one yesterday as I watched it on our driveway. Luckily, it eventually fluffed up its wings and flew away. Relief!

  8. Man, M.P… your paparazzi moves put mine to shame! I can never catch these ladies and gents. They’re either too quick or I’m too slow. Or both. Not a good combination. Anyway, Awesome work! AND I did a double take when I saw your ‘Orange Crush’ title because I was thinking about using the very same (if a project I have in mind actually turns out). Were you listening to a little R.E.M at the time, too – or was that just me?!

    • Ha! I’m a sneaky one, for sure, Sig! 🙂

      Sometimes, I get lucky…right place, right time. Most often, not so much. 😉 I’ll be stunned if I get a chance at the male Oriole. Saw him yesterday, but didn’t have the tripod/lens setup with me. He was far away, too, so I just have to try to be patient.

      No, no REM this time. I was just trying to think of something clever and orange soda came to me. I think naming the images (at times) is the most difficult part! Thanks for your comments, Sig! 🙂

  9. Love all your efforts! We have ‘resident’ sparrows nesting, with young, in a corner space right by our front door. Most folks would evict them and close the entrance I suppose but WE enjoy their presence. Also with the dwindling options for safe housing it’s the least we can do to accomadate them. So we occassionaly get our heads buzzed, the mail box gets a few ‘spots’ on it, nesting material floats in and out from above–it’s all BETTER than the drone of lawnmowers and passing cars. And we’re glad the sparrows feel safe enough to raise young here year after year.

    • Thank you, whitebuffalo!! 🙂

      What a great story re: your sparrrows! Yes, I whole-heartedly agree. I feel a sense of proud accomplishment that we have created a landscape where critter and fowl make their homes and raise families. They provide us with LOADS of entertainment (funny…I was going to write ‘free entertainment’ here but with what we spend on birdseed, corn, peanuts, etc., the entertainment is most certainly NOT free! 🙂 ) Protecting our natural environment is so important and for us personally, a wild area close-by is being threatened by a developer who wants to erect three apartment buildings. Sigh. Good thing our neighborhood is planning to fight it tooth and nail!

      • Fight! Fight! Fight! Who NEEDs another apt building? No one!!!!! We’ve had them be built two streets down and they have RUINED the area — destroyed the wildlife area, increased the traffic, and blighted the area with their UGLY appearances. They’ve also increased the police presence in the area—if we don’t hear sirens once in 24 hours something is just not ‘right’. Need any more motivation?

      • Oh, we ARE! The city is in for a fight, indeed. This “plan” makes no sense in our part of the city…the mayor is only seeing dollar signs. We hope the planning board will have more sense, listen to the neighborhood concerns and do the right thing!

  10. Lovely photos of a beautiful bird working hard to create a little home. You have so many interesting birds! You will take photos of the nest now and then, right?

    • Thank you, Giiid! 🙂

      Unfortunately, it appears the Robin’s nest has indeed, been abandoned. 😦 And, I’ve yet to discover the location of the Oriole’s nest (they typically nest very high up in trees). But, I will keep my eyes out!

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