Bottlefed

Greetings everyone! There’s PVC pipes, wires, integrated chips, power supplies, tools and scary props scattered all over my den at the moment. Couple that with my two 3D printers running 24×7 and it can only mean one thing – the annual Haunted Halloween Trail event is approaching fast (link here). Too fast actually. Not sure what the deal is, but when I was working it seemed like I was running around like a crazy person trying to get everything built in the hours before and after work. For the life of me I cannot figure out where the extra 8-10 hours a day I should have now that I am retired goes – yet here I am running around like a crazy person trying to get everything built. The good things is there’s laser focus on the event – no trying to juggle work issues with Halloween challenges. In honor of the fast approaching Halloween season, I wanted to go with a bird that reflected the holiday. Welcome to today’s featured feathered friend.

Female Orchard Oriole found at Dauphin Island, Alabama Gulf Shores in January 2012

Okay, a bit of a confession here. It is really the adult male that has the association to Halloween. Not having those images worked up yet, decided to go with its more yellow/green partner. If nothing else, it does satisfy my promise to continually amp up the bird coloring as we proceeded through the month. A far cry from those more subdued Doves and Sparrows that have been featured earlier in the month, the female Orchard Oriole sticks out in its surroundings.

Female Orchard Oriole found at Dauphin Island, Alabama Gulf Shores in January 2012

Hit the jump to read about our colorful friend.

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A Rusty Visitor from Central America

Today we are back at my new favorite South Dakota birding spot.  If you recall, I have had a number of posts already from Lake Andes thanks to the very successful birding outing we had there while making a brief stop on our way to Yellowstone National Park.  As mentioned numerous times before, for a spot that had zero people visiting while we were there and little to no advertising in or around this specific location but for a small sign in the parking lot, this location provided a wealth of new fodder for the blog and numerous ticks on the Bird Life List.  Pretty much the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve equivalent of the South Dakotas!

With that, I’d like to introduce you to the newest member of my birding list, the Orchard Oriole.

Orchard Oriole, Lake Andes, South Dakota

Truth be told, I had no idea what species this bird was while out in the field snapping the shots.  Initial guess was a molting Oriole only because it was similar to the Baltimore Orioles I’ve seen, but a lot duller.  The Baltimores wear a brilliant shade of orange compared to this specimen.  It did sport that daunting dagger of a bill found on Orioles and quite frankly was as flighty as those more colorful versions.  Up, down, left, right, near, far … the damn thing wouldn’t stand still long enough for me to get a good angle on it.  It is a miracle the Beast was able to catch it, much less get all the critical angles to help identify it in the digital darkroom.  Although it would have been ideal to get more of the bill in the next shot, it is still my favorite of the lot since it gives a nice view of the markings making it super easy to identify.

Orchard Oriole, Lake Andes, South Dakota

Hit the jump to read a bit more about this interesting bird.

Continue reading A Rusty Visitor from Central America