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Saturday, April 26, 2014

We have a special species of Oriole here in Texas!!

Yes, there are orioles around here.
Orchard Orioles, male(L) and female(R)
Orchard Oriole
We’ve actually heard of several people who’ve attracted Orioles to their yards. In north Texas we have Orchard Orioles and Baltimore Orioles. The first is certainly the most common here. As with all Orioles, the male and female look very different. They all are mainly insect-eaters, but love grape jelly or orange-halves.  The simplest “feeder” is just attaching an orange-half to a board or branch via a finishing nail – at least 5 ft. off the ground. Ants can overwhelm it, but if there are just a few ants they will be eradicated by birds.

To spot juvenile Robins, look for spots

Robin (fledgling)
Robin (fledgling)
About the time of year, fledgling Robins (just out of the nest) are apt to appear at backyard birdbaths. The adult with them is teaching them how to swim and bathe. (It doesn't come naturally)  The male parent is usually in charge of fledglings. They’re the same size as adults, but can be recognized by black speckles on their orange/red breasts, which they outgrow in 3 or 4 weeks.




OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at in Denton.



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