Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Bronaugh Baltimore Oriole

On December 3, Ron Thompson of Bronaugh, Missouri, in Vernon County, first called to let me know that an oriole had been coming to one of his trees, feasting upon its red berries. I asked if he had taken pictures, and he said that he had not. I encouraged him to do so if the bird returned.

Since Baltimore Orioles are classified as casual winter residents in Missouri, I posted the sighting on Mo-Birds. It received some attention, and I was asked if Ron would be documenting. The answer was "yes". I had suggested to Ron that he take some pictures and document the sighting. I sent him the new online documention form recently implemented on the Audubon Society of Missouri website.
Photos courtesy of Ron Thompson.

On December 10, I received this message from Ron:
quote: "Baltimore Oriole 2nd sighting. Today 12/10/07 at 10 am I saw an oriole on the back porch. I put out a grapefruit , bacon fat & crumbs & it HAS eaten all day. He is in cat danger but he was hungry enough to come up 6' from me. I took a few pictures for ID. I was another adult male, if not the same one I saw in Nov.. Ron Thompson We are covered up in the ice storm." end of quote.

This time the response to the posting took a different turn, and had a sense of urgency to it. During the last week, a Streak-backed Oriole, a casual visitor from Mexico that very rarely shows up in Arizona or California has managed to make to Loveland, Colorado. It remains there today.

So, in a most highly unprobable case of serendipity, I suppose that the weather system that blew the Loveland bird to Colorado could have blown another member of Icterus pustulatus to Missouri. So, the inevitable question had to be asked, and an active Mo-Birder did just that on the listserv.
Is this Bronaugh oriole a Baltimore? And so, you now have seen for yourself.
Yes, it is. But, you know, it's a grand day when a casual and beautiful winter visitor arrives at your doorstep!

Congratulations, Ron, and thanks for the fine portraits!

1 comment:

Larry said...

What a nice visitor to have! The birds seem to be changing in CT along with the weather patterns.I wonder things will be like ten years from now.