The Only Oriole Nest

by Carl Strang

Compared to the previous two years at Mayslake Forest Preserve, 2011 seemed relatively depauperate in orioles. Where there had been a pair of orchard orioles in each of the previous two seasons, this year there were none. Where there had been 4-6 pairs of Baltimore orioles, this year all the observations pointed to a single pair. This was supported by my recently finding the nest.

Still intact, the nest contained some synthetic fibers that may have come from a disintegrated toy left behind at the nearby off-leash dog area.

The nest was at the center of the area where I noted orioles this year. Though it was right above one of the trails I regularly use, as you can see in the photo it was buried in an oak branch tip. It would have been well concealed by leaves when it was in use.

I do not know why orioles were so few this year. Without the season-long sets of observations I would not have realized there was even a difference. This exemplifies the value of frequent visits to a monitored area, and taking careful notes that can be reviewed for patterns at the end of a season.

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1 Comment

  1. November 5, 2012 at 10:52 am

    […] the top of the savanna ridge not far from where I found that nest, I looked up and noticed that last year’s Baltimore oriole nest still is attached and largely […]


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