Summer 2019 Goals – an Update

5-7-2019Baltimore Orioles are another type of migratory bird on the way north for the breeding season. They will depart again for their winter territories as early as July, so keep an eye on the treetops for bright orange feathers in the next couple of months!

I don’t know about you, but when I think of birds’ nests, I usually think of a sort of bowl made of twigs. Yet not all nests are shaped that way.

Orioles weave distinctive nests, which hang from tree branches like little purses. If you see a little sack made of plant fibers hanging from a branch high in a treetop, you can be pretty sure you are looking at the nest of an oriole.

A female oriole knits a new nest every year, so if you spotted one of these special nests when the trees had no leaves over the winter, you won’t be able to simply return to that nest to see a Baltimore Oriole’s current nesting sight. These birds do, however, sometimes use old nests to collect material to build their new ones, so you might want to check anyway – maybe you’ll get lucky and spot one of these orange and black birds gathering supplies for the new breeding season.

I found a couple of terrific links explaining oriole nest construction. One is a video from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism which shows how a Baltimore Oriole builds its nest. The other is a podcast from BirdNote on the same topic. Both are about two minutes long. If you have time to spare, you should definitely check the links out!

Last week I mentioned my summer 2019 goal of finding a hummingbird nest. I am adding finding a Baltimore Oriole’s nest to my list. I’ll be sure to let you know if I find either one!

How about you?  Do you have any summer birding goals?


5 responses to “Summer 2019 Goals – an Update”

  1. Hi, Bernice. What an industrious bird the Oriole is! Great videos of the nest building. Thanks for sharing. Didn’t you tell me that Orioles travel up from South America this time of year? Wouldn’t mind talking to a few of them to see what they think of places they visit in the winter. Can never tell when we might take a trip south ourselves!

    Mom and I were talking last night about all the birds you are writing about that we can find here in the Washington, D.C. area. They are all so interesting. Made us think of all the interesting birds in the African savanna. Did you know that the Ostrich is only found in Africa? It is my kind of bird – big and heavy! They are up to eight feet tall and weigh up to 300 pounds. Means I can seen them even if my eyesight isn’t so great. Then there are Malachite Kingfisher birds, Lilac Breasted Rollers, Marabou storks, Grey crowned cranes, Yellow Billed Hornbill and so many others. Wonder what they would think of the birds here in Washington? Do you think any of our DC birds migrate all the way to Africa or vice versa? That would be something! If any of your readers are interested in checking out the birds of the African savanna they can go to this link —

    Mom, Louisa and I are about to have an afternoon snack with some green tea. Beautiful day here in DC. Say hi to Hector.



    • Hi Dad! Thanks so much for the comment!

      Visiting South America would be so fun. I know mom has a great interest in going to Peru in particular 🙂 Hopefully we can go soon!

      I don’t know much about African birds, and while I *think* the birds that migrate to North America all come from either Central or South America, I do know that migration routes can be complicated, so maybe some birds do cross over the Atlantic? I will have to do some research and see what I can find in terms of an answer to your question. I have just begun reading Scott Weidensaul’s Living on the Wind, which is about bird migration, so perhaps I will have an answer soon.

      I’ll be sure to say hi to Hector for you.

      I love you, Dad.



  2. Dear Bernice,
    First, I am the first person to post a response today! Huzzah!
    My summer birding goal is to build at least one bird house – but maybe more of different types? – with my Mommy and Daddy (and my sister). I think I’d also like to start hiking through the woods near our house to see if we can find any interesting birds in there.
    That Oriole nest is so cool – good luck finding one!
    I really like this new blog post – maybe my Mommy will teach me how to draw like NuNu… 🙂


    • You were very close to the first commenter, E 🙂

      Building a birdhouse with your family sounds like a wonderful summer goal! How fun! NuNu told me that your Daddy is very handy and will be able to help a lot when I asked her about it.

      Learning more about drawing is a great idea if it interests you. But I have seen your work and your style is uniquely you and simply divine, so I hope you’ll draw just like E instead of like NuNu.

      I love you very much, darling girl.



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