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Hooded orioles freeloading at a backyard hummingbird feeder

A pair of hooded orioles feeding at a backyard hummingbird feeder. Male on left, female on right. Photo by Cathy Whipkey, Livermore, CA
1hooded oriole cathy whipkey livermore

I wanted to share a photo of our beautiful visitors.  This pair of hooded orioles have returned to our hummingbird feeder.  We saw them for the first time last year and were so pleased to see them return.  They’re very skittish, so it was a challenge to get this photo.  We enjoy your column every day.   Thank you.
Cathy Whipkey, Livermore, California

Beautiful birds and a beautiful photo!

I get a lot of correspondence from my readers asking why the nectar in their hummingbird feeders is suddenly starting to disappear at an unusually rapid pace. Well … one reason is that a pair of hooded orioles may have arrived to start sucking those feeders dry! And we should also keep in mind that more than 50 other species of birds have been spotted freeloading at our hummingbird feeders at one time or another … as well as roof rats, squirrels, raccoons, bats … and who-knows-what-else. Pretty amazing when you think about it. /Gary

Posted on Thursday, June 28th, 2012
Under: Hooded oriole | 1 Comment »

Hooded oriole freeloading at a backyard hummingbird feeder

Hooded oriole at hummingbird feeder. Photo by Beth, Redwood City, CA
1hooded oriole beth redwood city

I have a question for you and/or your readers:  What kind of bird is now eating at our hummingbird feeder?  I searched the Internet for information, and saw birds that look similar, but none that seem to be exactly like the one visiting our hummingbird feeder.  I am attaching a photo of the bird here.  I live in Redwood City, California.
Beth, Redwood City, Calif.

Your visitor looks to be a hooded oriole (Icterus cucullatus). These birds eat insects, small fruit, nectar from flowers, and the visit hummer feeders to sip nectar with the other birds. Over 50 different bird species have been spotted freeloading at hummingbirds feeders from time to time. Nothing like a little free junk food to start the day. /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
Under: Hooded oriole, hummingbirds | 3 Comments »