Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Day-Glo Yellow

We were treated to a flash of yellow streaking across my brother's backyard. Its intended target was the Western Scrub Jay that was eating almonds out of my SIL's outstretched palm. The Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus) was having none of that. Not the almonds, nor the jay, nor the hand. The jay flew off in a blur of blue before we had any idea what was going on.
It's nesting season for the Oriole, and this behavior was all about territory. They do not want to share the yard with the Jays or Mockingbirds. Several Orioles gathered, males and females, and flapped around making quite a ruckus. They were claiming territory, and all the other other birds yielded to their insistence.
We had an opportunity to see these birds fairly closely as they flew from tree to tree. They were a flashing yellow light show. Straight out of a day-glo paint swatch.

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