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Oriole I.D. needed (new pics!)

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Old Monday 3rd May 2004, 20:18   #1
Paisley_Tx
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Question Oriole I.D. needed (new pics!)

I posted last week about a Oriole pair that was in my backyard and we had a hard time deciding for sure what they were (between Baltimore, Bullock, Orchard or even possibly Hooded). I saw one of them again on my hanging basket while she (I believe it's a female, she looks like the one from photos in my other post) was gathering up nesting materials - SOooooo...guess they are nesting nearby. wheee! It's odd that she has a whitish patch on top of her head. I really don't think it's a hooded oriole because the beak is straight. I'm almost ready to rule out the orchard now too because of the amount of orange that she has. I'm now leaning more towards baltimore...even though the male doesn't have a full head of black yet (I saw him earlier again today, hopefully I can get another photo at some point). Could she be a mix between two species? I've read that where the Bullock's & Baltimore's area meet up together that sometimes they'll interbreed.

So...what do you think? I'll post 5 pics, but here's also a link to a website where I've got lots more pics of it.

http://img36.photobucket.com/albums/...ort=descending
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Old Monday 3rd May 2004, 21:04   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paisley_Tx
I posted last week about a Oriole pair that was in my backyard and we had a hard time deciding for sure what they were (between Baltimore, Bullock, Orchard or even possibly Hooded). I saw one of them again on my hanging basket while she (I believe it's a female, she looks like the one from photos in my other post) was gathering up nesting materials - SOooooo...guess they are nesting nearby. wheee! It's odd that she has a whitish patch on top of her head. I really don't think it's a hooded oriole because the beak is straight. I'm almost ready to rule out the orchard now too because of the amount of orange that she has. I'm now leaning more towards baltimore...even though the male doesn't have a full head of black yet (I saw him earlier again today, hopefully I can get another photo at some point). Could she be a mix between two species? I've read that where the Bullock's & Baltimore's area meet up together that sometimes they'll interbreed.

So...what do you think? I'll post 5 pics, but here's also a link to a website where I've got lots more pics of it.

http://img36.photobucket.com/albums/...ort=descending
Looks like Baltimore, despite the light head.
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Old Monday 3rd May 2004, 21:53   #3
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Yes, an adult female Baltimore Oriole.

Edit: On second thoughts, the mantle colour perhaps suggests a first summer bird.
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Old Tuesday 4th May 2004, 00:28   #4
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Except for that weird leucistic-like patch on top the head, it looks like a textbook adult female Baltimore oriole. Very nice photos, Paisley!
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Old Tuesday 4th May 2004, 02:46   #5
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I agree, beautiful photos of a fem. Baltimore Oriole. You can see the scaled appearance on her upper back, no other oriole that I know of has that pattern.
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Old Tuesday 4th May 2004, 04:54   #6
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thanks everyone, I appreciate your input!

I'm glad the mystery is solved and I was able to get better pictures. Now to see them eating on the oranges & grape jelly feeder - haven't seen them doing it yet.
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2004, 03:33   #7
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That "weird leucistic-like patch on top the head" looks like a bald spot.
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2004, 06:06   #8
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Hmmm...could be. I was attributing it to some form of albino - like you see sporactically in birds. Anyone know what causes albino markings??
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2004, 06:21   #9
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Re: a possible "bald spot." After blowing up the pic in other software, it still looks like feathers to me, and there are intermittent black spots in it as there are on other parts of the head. Not that the presence of a bald spot has any bearing on the sp ID...

There's a lot of discussion about what the proper terminology is for birds that exhibit loss of pigment in either the feathers or the soft tissues of the body. Generally speaking, albinism applies to tissues (which is when you see pink skin, red eyes), leucism to feathers (which can occur in patches, in one part of the body, or affect *all* the feathers). There are combinations of both where a bird can have pink skin and white feathers but have normal eyes. There is also a melanistic condition that causes patches of feathers to appear darker than they normally would, or black. And there are at least a half-dozen other pigment-related conditions that can affect the bird's coloring. Most of us just refer to a bird that has abnormal white feathering as "albinistic" or "partial albino" even if the skin and eyes are otherwise normal.

There's another thread somewhere here on the forum where several of us went into this subject in some detail. If you're really interested, the forum's search engine should turn it up under "albinism" or "leucism." Sorry, I wish I had the URL for it handy. :-)
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2004, 06:29   #10
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cool Katy - I'll have to look it up in the search engine. Thanks for the added info..and I agree, the head looks like it has feathers that are 'albinistic'. :)
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2004, 07:24   #11
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Katy, I found the post I think you were talking of. The one with the article that you posted that gave all the 'isms' for albinistic/leucistic/etc/etc birds. I bumped it up in the Birds & Birding forum.

thanks!
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2004, 14:33   #12
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Look again at the first picture in the series, you can see above the bird's right brow where the feathers end and there is a gap. In the second photo, the skin appears grayish, and light patch is caused the lower part of the body feathers next to the bald spot. As you know only the tips of body feathers are brightly colored, and the lower part of the feathers have less pigment, so the would appear white when exposed. Other than that, it looks like a Baltimore Oriole to me.
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