My wife wants our lawn to be home to yellow finches, hummingbirds and Orioles. This year we got Orioles. “Put the grape jelly out and they will come.” After years of disappointment, 6-10 arrived and stayed. The flashes of color are eye-grabbing. We have orchard orioles and Baltimore orioles.
When they first arrived, they were patient with each other at the food dishes—“no, you go first.” But now, they are playing a serious version of King of the Hill. We’ve learned they stay part of the summer and then mysteriously leave. That’s not so hard to figure out. The local neighborhood becomes violent and they want to change friends.
They chow down! I filled their jelly bowls 3 times yesterday—traipsed out in the rain. Manipulated by my wife and 4 birds tapping their wings on the window. They had licked all the grape juice off the bottom of the bowl. If they stay, we are going to buy jelly at the commercial restaurant supply store in gallon cans. But they will leave. One morning they will be gone. The grape jelly will no longer satisfy their food needs, nor their baby’s demand. They will find feeding fields where protein is available.
We will miss them. We are bringing the hummingbirds along who will be with us through the summer.
An expert says:
“Unlike the Northern Mockingbirds, Orioles do not sing at night.”
Is that sad? Occasionally, don’t you need to sing a song at night? Or have someone sing you a song in the dark?
Another bird person who is supposed to know says some birds begin to sing just before dawn to announce to their friends that they made it through the night.
One of my Nashville friends asked me, “Dean, are you still singing?” I’ve learned naked crows are preferred to an old guy singing. I wonder sometimes if we’re supposed to “get over” singing by a certain age.
Paul and Silas were not the only ones to need “A Song To Sing At Midnight”
©2019 D. Dean Benton Writer, Wonderer, Warbler