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Need Oriole I.D. please (1 Viewer)

Paisley_Tx

Well-known member
Hello,

I'm hoping that someone can help me solve this mystery. I don't know if these are Baltimore, Bullock's or Orchard Oriole's. The male is a juvie I'm pretty sure and I've heard that the orchard oriole male juvie's can look quite different than the chestnut coloring they get later. I'm in Texas and I noticed a new bird singing in my backyard for the past 3 days and finally got these pics today. The couple were dancing and the male kept bowing to her - it was fun to watch!

I've been told that they were Baltimore or Bullock's...even one person told me Orchard - so I'm quite confused. Hopefully tomorrow they'll be back (I put out some oranges and grape jelly..yummy!) so I can see them more closely and/or get more pics!

thanks in advance!!
Paisley
 

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Katy Penland

Well-known member
Welcome to BirdForum, Paisley!

Not Bullock's or Baltimore with the amount of facial black that's already on what is clearly a juvenile bird. I'd agree with Steve on them being Orchards.
 

cuckooroller

Well-known member
Charles Harper said:
Where is Paisley? Why not Hooded Orioles, with those long beaks (or bills)?

Hi Charles,
I thought you were out birding for three days! I excluded cucullatus, which should be there in Texas with races sennetti and the nominate cucullatus, because it looks like the adult female here has the black extending partially back onto the lower ear coverts whereas in cucullatus the black seems to just round the posterior ocular aspect and then extends straight down vertically.
 

dacol

Well-known member
I think they are Baltimore Orioles, a first spring male and a female.
The amount of black on the sides of the head of the male and the amount of orange on the chest exclude , in my opinion, Orchard Oriole. First spring Orchard Oriole males tend to have just a black mask over the eyes and a black bib and look greenish yellow bellow. I also agree with the arguments for excluding Hooded and Bullock's Orioles. Notice that the female also shows quite a lot of orange on her which also indicates Baltimore rather than the other species.

Dalcio
 

cuckooroller

Well-known member
dacol said:
I think they are Baltimore Orioles, a first spring male and a female.
The amount of black on the sides of the head of the male and the amount of orange on the chest exclude , in my opinion, Orchard Oriole. First spring Orchard Oriole males tend to have just a black mask over the eyes and a black bib and look greenish yellow bellow. I also agree with the arguments for excluding Hooded and Bullock's Orioles. Notice that the female also shows quite a lot of orange on her which also indicates Baltimore rather than the other species.

Dalcio

Dalcio,

As soon as I saw from whence you hearken I went googling on this. You may be absolutely right. I presume that you're saying that the one with all the black in the face is the FY male and the other with the gray looking crown (which still has me a little thrown) is the female. As far as I could discover the Orchard female adult doesn't have any black in the face at all and what I took to be a female in my photodatabase must be a FY male. I wish I could see the breast of the female which should be a kind of rosy-orange. Live and learn. I think that I strung this one.
 

Katy Penland

Well-known member
Well, as we all know, lighting plays a huge role in how a bird's colors can be perceived. In a couple angles, the "female" doesn't look like there's any black at all on the face, then in one more shadowed photo, it looks like there is some black spotting, and her entire color goes from yellow to more orange. I.e., without more and better photos, I don't see how the shade of color or the amount of black yet (at least on this one bird) can be determined.

Mind you, I'm not defending my first supposition at Orchard but unless we also know where Paisley is (and I didn't assume it was a city's name, and Mapquest couldn't find any by that name), Hooded is only found in a very narrow band in the extreme southwest border area of Texas, whereas Orchard is found throughout the state.

However, as someone has so accurately noted in another thread, to argue from a lack of evidence isn't defensible. ;)
 

Larry Lade

Moderator
I believe I will concur with Charles on this one. IMO, the gray on the crown of the female and the substantial beak would seen to be in favor of the Hooded Oriole. Baltimore first year males would not have any black on the throat and an adult male would not have the black so localized even if it was moulting. This male also seems to me to have a bigger beak than would be on either a Baltimore or an Orchard Oriole. A first year Orchard Oriole would have a smaller black area on the throat than is shown by this bird.
 

Paisley_Tx

Well-known member
Thank you all for responding - so the mystery still unfolds, eh? :)

For those wondering exactly where in Texas I am, I'm in North Central - in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Maybe that'll help in determining what birds they are, which I think takes the hooded oriole out of the running. If it helps at all, later on during the day I did spot another oriole in the same tree and the head was completely black - which I would think is a Baltimore. I agree that the pictures & colors of the birds are confusing because there's alot of shadow going on. I was hurrying in taking these pics and I was actually lucky to get what I got because after those 4 pics, they were gone. Wish they were better. :(

The thing that keeps stumping me on determining for sure what it is are the songs that I kept hearing, and recorded for the past week. When I found songs on the web for the baltimore, orchard & bullock's it seemed as though the orchard sounded more in line with what I was hearing.

Unfortunately I guess they've moved on because I didn't see or hear them today. And I even put out lots of goodies for them. *sighs*

Have I mentioned yet that this forum is awesome, as well as each of you? Thanks again for the help!

Paisley
 

Warbler

Warbler Watcher
Hi Paisley, nice to find you here. I hope you're enjoying BF. Even though I think the birds have enough yellow, maybe they were Orchard Orioles, if you're sure that's what you had been hearing. Hopfully you'll get to see them again.
 

Katy Penland

Well-known member
Hey, Paisley, talk about interesting timing: On the AZ-NM birding forum tonight, there was a discussion on Hooded vs. Orchard oriole because of a bird sighted in Tucson (where Hooded is common and Orchard would be a big deal). I thought you might be interested in what an oriole expert contributed to the discussion in case you see your birds again -- and especially as you recorded your birds since he touches on vocalization as well.

The photos he's referring to were on another list member's website, which I've attached for your (and everybody else's here on this thread) comparison. Whew, that was really bad grammar... ;)

"We can narrow the field of contenders down to two orioles: Orchard and
Hooded. Females of these two species can be surprisingly difficult to
separate, especially young birds. Several features of the photo bird are
highly suggestive of Orchard Oriole. Points in favor of Orchard: 1) The bill
appears to be straight and pointed rather than slender and decurved like
Hooded. Very young Hooded Oriole's bill approaches Orchard in being straight
instead of decurved. 2) Upperparts to my eye appear to be olive-green rather
than greenish-yellow. Lighting, film, individual computer monitors, etc. can
affect color so this may or may not be helpful. This is not a clincher. 3)
The wingbars appear very neat; this is a feature that I have noted birding
in the east. Hooded's wingbars sometimes appear a little more 'messy' to me.
4) The tail appears relatively short; adult Hooded Oriole would appear
longer tailed. 5) While difficult to judge from a photo, the bird appears to
be quite small suggesting Orchard. Measurements of the two species do
overlap.

"Descriptions of the oriole's vocalizations and behavior would be very
helpful. The Orchard's song is reminiscent of Purple Finch; quick, rich,
varied, often with a distinctive downslurred note at the end. The soft
"chuck" call note is rather distinctive and usually diagnostic if heard well
and consistently. The sheenk, weenk, wheet, or et of the Hooded are rather
distinctive and usually diagnostic as well. The Hooded call note, to my ear,
also has an inflection that makes the call note sound like a question.

"Behaviorally, one characteristic that may be helpful is the Orchard's habit
of flicking it's tail sideways, fast and quite jerky. I have not seen Hooded
do this, but I haven't observed as many Hooded Orioles as I have Orchard
Orioles being a relatively new transplant from the east."
 

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Paisley_Tx

Well-known member
Hey there Warbler!! :) Good to see you, nice to see a familiar face! And yes, I am really enjoying it here too - learning lots more about birding, woohoo!

Katy - that is interesting stuff, thanks for posting it. Tomorrow I'm going to run thru my recordings again and get a better feel for their songs as well as go thru the descrips again (too tired now to think straight). Those photos that person took are beeeeeeautiful!

I did try to crop and close in more on the pics that I took, I'm going to post them here again in hopes that it'll be more clear for all you experts out there! Here's hoping...
 

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