Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Have You Ever Seen an Oriole Do This?

June 11 Photos and Email:

Hi Ric,

I thought your readers might be interested in the behavior of a male Baltimore Oriole I saw in Holland, MI today. I took the pictures with my old iPhone 5s, but you can still see the behavior. 

I have a feeder out with 1/2 an orange and a small amount of grape jelly. He first flew into the feeder with a big fat spider in his mouth, grabbed some grape jelly and left with both.  He later returned with a caterpillar and a grub in his mouth, grabbed some grape jelly and left with all three in his mouth.

I asked the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology about this behavior and they thought he was probably gathering food to take back to the nest to feed his young. 

I have not noticed this behavior before and wondered if many of your readers have seen it. Can any of your readers identify the spider, caterpillar or grub?

Happy Birding!    

- John Strauss

John, thanks for the photos and description.  I've never seen our orioles mix anything with the jelly they take to their kids, and I don't do bugs.  Hopefully others have some answers?  - Ric

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