Sunday, June 22, 2008

Very Tardy Oriole Update

Papa Oriole looking at me as if to say, "Are you still here?"

Well, it's been a busy week and I've been meaning to post this for some time now. My 11 month old grandson was in the hospital for three days (he's home now and doing fine) and I was also preparing for my presentation at the Presque Isle Audubon Society Member's Night meeting. Enough excuses, here is the promised update on the orioles:

As of Friday the babes have all fledged! This is bittersweet time for me as I will miss watching mom and dad flying in and out of the nest and the raucous sound the babes made as they were fed a juicy caterpillar or hairy spider. It was fun but a bit nerve wracking watching them take wing. They certainly weren't very graceful at first and with each lift off I wondered if they were going to make it to the next branch. Mom and Dad's job got a little harder as each of the fledglings found their respective ways around the yard and naturally they all fledged in different directions. Despite their new found (albeit rough) flight skills they remain dependent on mom and dad for meals and direction (Sounds like my 20 year old!) The babes would call when they got hungry and I was fortunate enough to find a couple of them as they called and were fed by mom or dad.

Papa Oriole feeds the last hold out in the nest.

Mama Oriole feeds the very first fledgling. S/He fledged a full day before his siblings.

This is the first fledgling, I called him Jack because all his siblings in the nest were getting fed before him and I kept saying, "Poor guy, they aren't giving you jack!"

This is one of the last fledglings. Shortly after I shot this he climbed back in to the nest.

There are many nests along the creek right now. I don't know exactly where or what birds they all are because they are so well-hidden. The only way that I even know they are there is the telltale chirping of the babies as they are fed. It's amazing how loud they can be! I look forward now to watching the babies grow and hope that next year they come back and build their own nests as the great cycle of life in the gully continues.


NCmountainwoman said...

Wonderful photos of the fledglings. This is my favorite time of year, as the little ones take clumsy flight and scream for food and attention.

MicheleRF said...

Thanks NCWM! It is a wonderful time of year!

Jared said...

wonderful photos michele! :D