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March 08, 2020
March 2, 2020
I saw my first male Hooded Oriole return from migration to our area here in the foothills of San Diego, California this week! Males are typically the first to arrive back from Mexico, which is a particularly common wintering spot for these orioles.
Hooded orioles are one of six species recorded in San Diego County by eBird, but by far the most common and probably the most popular because of their colorful antics. Rare oriole species include the Orchard, Baltimore and Streak-backed, while Bullock's (which inspired our logo) and Scott's orioles are more common at various times of the year.
The Hooded and Bullock's orioles are the two most common species that breed in Southern California. Both are medium-size songbirds, about 8-inches long with slender bodies, long tail and a long, slightly curved beak. They belong to the same family as blackbirds, grackles and cowbirds.
If you plan to attract them to your backyard, there are a couple things you need to be aware of to be successful. Keep in mind that these birds mainly eat insects, nectar and fruit, and will also visit hummingbird feeders and bird feeders for seeds, so they can sustain themselves on a wide array of foods available to them. But like many creatures, they also like the path of least resistance. So, start early and make it easy for them!
I love the picture below as it had just finished raining and the oriole beat the Anna's Hummingbird to the feeder. As you can see below, the Hummer is waiting in the wing for her turn at the feeder.
I took this picture below with my phone just to show how the placement of the feeders in view of the palm trees really helps. I used this same placement last year and had Hooded and Scott's orioles at my feeders every day. It was such an amazing treat!
If you love Orioles, check out artist Vicki Sawyer's Gift Collection called "The Entourage". It's a stunningly detailed and fun representation of birds from our Western Hemisphere, including the lovely & lively Hooded Oriole.
And, on a final note, I was just so excited to see these guys return on March 2nd, 2020 that I had to look up what it meant to spot the first oriole of the year. Here's what I found…
Derived from the Latin word meaning "gold", the Oriole is the symbol of approaching summer and sunshine. An Oriole totem reflects this symbolism bringing sunshine (or positive changes) to your life.
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