Bullock’s Orioles Celebrate Father’s Day And Solstice For Camera Critters

by Larry Jordan on June 20, 2009

Bullock’s Oriole Male all photos by Larry Jordan

Last weekend I returned to the site of our Audubon Chapter picnic at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area’s Tower House, where we had seen a Bullock’s Oriole nest with the parents making trips to an fro.  I thought it would make an appropriate Father’s Day post.  Here is Dad, apparently attempting to coax the youngster out of the nest.

The Bullock’s Oriole usually arrives in northern California from their wintering grounds in Mexico around mid April and they were true to form this year.  We saw the first sightings April 10th.  The thing is, they take up to two weeks to build their nest!  And what master engineers these birds are to create a nest like this.

Bullock’s Oriole Nest With Chick

Their nests are suspended from branches of large trees, usually near water.  They are neatly woven, often containing hair (especially horsehair), twine, fibers, grasses, and wool, and lined with cottonwood or willow cotton or wool.

As I watched the parents, I noticed that they were not feeding the youngster in the nest.  Apparently, this chick was nearly ready to leave the nest which they do around two weeks after hatching.   Bullock’s Orioles usually lay 4 – 5 eggs and this was the only chick I saw so I have to think it was the last to fledge., bird nest,  Here is a picture of the female with the same chick.

I never did get to see it fledge, but I sure enjoyed watching as the parents urged their youngster on.

I wish all you fathers out there a very Happy Father’s Day, and everyone an enjoyable solstice.  For more great critter photos, check out Camera Critters.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

sandy June 21, 2009 at 4:28 am

i loved this series so much sandy


Minnesota Kate June 21, 2009 at 8:05 am

I’ve tried in the past to attract Orioles but have not been successful. These photos are wonderful; very detailed and clear.
Minnesota Kate, Visual St. Paul


Amber Coakley June 21, 2009 at 8:06 am

Hi Larry-

This is the first time I’ve had a good look at a Bullock’s Oriole! I’m even more amazed by their nest. The more I learn about birds (and nature), the more impressed I am. And fledging at 2 weeks – that’s growing up fast. I love to see fledgelings flapping their wings and following their parents around. Sometimes I think I am still a fledgeling myself. 🙂

Great Father’s Day post, Larry!


Adrienne June 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm

Wow, I was so happy to see this post. I loved the close-up of the nest. We had Baltimore orioles nesting in our beech tree, but the blue jays attacked them and they abandoned it. I was so sad! These birds you’ve pictured are beautiful!


Larry June 21, 2009 at 9:28 pm

@Sandy thank you for your kind comment

@Kate if it makes you feel any better, I don’t have any Orioles in my part of the woods either 😉

@Amber thanks for the great comment. I know exactly how you feel. Sometimes I feel like I’m a fledgling too. Ain’t it great?

@Adrienne I’m so sorry to hear about the Blue Jay attack. Nature seems pretty harsh sometimes and sometimes it is hard to take. Then you see something that takes your breath away and you feel all warm and fuzzy inside 🙂


Karen June 21, 2009 at 9:31 pm

This is the first time I’ve seen one of these birds. they really are a rather beautiful colour..

Very cool captures..


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