Baltimore Oriole Nest

by Carl Strang

One way to find a bird nest is to notice a bird carrying nest material, and watch where it goes. If you stay quiet and are far enough away that the bird is not alarmed, this can lead you to a nest under construction. This was how I found the nest of Mayslake’s north savanna pair of Baltimore orioles.

Baltimore oriole nest b

This nest was among the highest twigs in a bur oak. Though it has the classical hanging basket shape, it is not suspended over a stream or trail as is commonly the case. Nevertheless, its location in the outermost extremity of a branch makes it difficult for a climbing predator to find and to reach. The female is the nest builder, but I haven’t managed to get close enough to her for a photograph. I showed the male of this pair a few days ago, and here he is again.

Baltimore oriole 2b

At least one more pair of this species is nesting on the preserve this year. I should mention here that it is best to stay away from the nest as a general rule at least until incubation is well under way. In the early stages the birds haven’t invested so much, and can be quick to abandon the nest if disturbed.

4 Comments

  1. Linda Caviglia said,

    June 18, 2009 at 10:57 am

    I was wondering what might have happened to the Orioles that built a nest in a tree near our deck. We saw (and heard) them for a little over a month… and about a week ago, noticed that the eggs must have hatched because of all the chirping coming from the nest as mom or dad landed on the branch. Then just about 2 or 3 days after noticing the babies voices, we have not seen or heard the Orioles at all.

    • natureinquiries said,

      June 19, 2009 at 6:08 am

      Hi, Linda,
      Songbirds aren’t vocal in the nest until some time after they hatch, but only 2-3 days seems short. Predation is a possibility, or nest parasitism (the latter was the fate of the south savanna nest at Mayslake; I’ll post on that soon). But maybe you just had a quiet group that has fledged.
      Regards,
      Carl

  2. Linda Caviglia said,

    June 21, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Thanks, Carl… I hope so… we really enjoyed seeing and hearing them, and I was sad that they might have died for some reason.
    Linda

  3. March 23, 2010 at 6:11 am

    […] The traces of last year’s nesting season remain, including this Baltimore oriole nest (first mentioned as it was built, here). […]


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