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May 16, 2011

Orioles also like nectar

Photo by BarrytheBirder
MMMBaltimore OrioleMMM
Icterus galbula

I don't have an oriole feeder, so this Baltimore Oriole had to try and make do with the hummingbird feeder.   He wasn't around very long (just long enough to have his picture taken) and then sought greener pastures.   The constant rain has the trees and shrubs full of birds and they are singing their heads off.   I tried desperately to get pictures of an Indigo Bunting and a leucistic Grackle but was too slow - maybe Monday morning.   That's the beauty of birding, of course...there's always tomorrow.   I should add, while I think of it, that the Baltimore Oriole received its name, according to Google, from the fact that the male's
colours resemble those on the coat-of-arms (at left) of Lord Baltimore, a 1600s Maryland and Newfoundland colonist.   A newer and more modest connection, to Canada, is the fact that our oldest navy vessel, which is still in use as a sailing training vessel on our west Coast, is called the Oriole.   The Oriole is a 102' ketch built in the early 1920s and is the oldest commissioned vessel and longest-serving commissioned vessel in the Canadian navy. The ship's badge is pictured is at right, and is very expressive in its image and its brilliant colour.   The same can be said for her spinnaker sail, underway at right.   The navy's Oriole can be seen plying the waters near Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt  at Victoria, British Columbia.   The Marconi-rigged ship was originally built for the commodore of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, George H Gooderham.   Yes the same Gooderhams as those who built the Gooderham and Worts Distillery in Toronto, and which I blogged about  two weeks ago on April 30.   Like the HMCS Oriole, the Baltimore Oriole also crosses oceans and occasionally shows up in western Europe!   Did I mention it's the state bird of Maryland?    Well, I have certainly digressed here.   Please comment if you wish, whether it's about birds or boats.

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