Bird Identification – Baltimore Oriole – Firebird – Golden Robin – Hang-nest – Golden Oriole
A flash of flame among the tender young spring foliage; a rich, high, whistled song from the blossoming cherry trees, and every child knows that the sociable Baltimore oriole has just returned from Central America.
Brilliant orange and black feathers like his could no more be concealed than the fiery little redstart’s; and as if they alone were not enough to advertise his welcome presence in the neighbourhood, he keeps up a rich, ringing, insistent whistle that you can quickly learn to imitate. You have often started all the roosters in your neighbourhood to crowing, no doubt; even so you can “whistle up” the mystified orioles, who are always disposed to live near our homes. Although the Baltimore oriole has a Southern name, he is really more common at the North, whereas the orchard oriole is more at home south of New England.
Lady Baltimore, who wears a yellowish-olive dress with dusky wings and tail, has the reputation of being one of the finest nest builders in the world. To the end of a branch of some tall shade tree, preferably an elm or willow, although almost any large tree on a lawn or roadside may suit her, she carries grasses, plant fibre, string, or bits of cloth. These she weaves and felts into a perfect bag six or seven inches deep and lines it with finer grasses, hair and wool—a safe, cozy, swinging cradle for her babies.
But, as you may imagine, those babies have a rather hard time when they try to climb out of it into the world. Many a one tumbles to the ground, unable to hold on to the tip of a swaying twig, and not being strong enough to fly. Then what a tremendous fuss the parents make! They cannot carry the youngster up into the tree; they are in deadly fear of cats; they are too worried and excited to leave him alone; but the plucky little fellow usually hops toward the tree and with the help of his sharp claws on the rough bark, flutters his way up to the first limb. People who have brought up broods of orphan orioles say that they are unusually lively, interesting pets. The little girl orioles will attempt, instinctively, to weave worsted, string, grass, or whatever is given them to play with, for of course they never took a lesson in weaving from their expert mother.