Spring Migration is on at The Holler~

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Look who showed up, the Hooded Orioles!
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It is cause for celebration when these raucous, rackety, bickering-beauties show up each spring to spend the summer.
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I so look forward to another season of their antics. They make scrub jays seem shy, quiet and retiring by comparison!
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The Black Headed Grosbeaks arrived with the Orioles.
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They are much shyer birds but hopefully they will assert themselves a bit more with the orioles this season.
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These birds have such powerful beaks they can crack sunflower seeds in one chomp!
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They seem to be arriving in greater numbers which is encouraging.
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The Bullocks Orioles are new arrivals at The Holler this year. They are less assertive than their hooded cousins and can be identified by the black stripe across their eyes.
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The California Thrashers live at The Holler year round, and stay mostly on the ground where they run around in such a hysterical, late-for-a-date-state, they are hard to photograph.
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I think this one was stunned into temporary paralysis by the sudden arrival of all the spring competition which enabled me to finally get a few clicks of him!
Cheers to you from the still arriving Holler Birdies~
Some of your might like to listen to these birdies vocalizations:
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Hooded_Oriole/sounds
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-headed_Grosbeak/sounds
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Bullocks_Oriole/id
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/California_Thrasher/id

217 thoughts on “Spring Migration is on at The Holler~

  1. I think I’ll be packing my bags and heading your way, although I’m quite sure I would arrive with mouth agape, and stay that way lol You live among such beauty!!! Thank you, again, for sharing these amazing photos!!

  2. Cindy, do you ever find Orioles drinking nectar out of the hummingbird feeders? This is a common sight here. They’ll perch at the top and hang their bodies down so their beaks can reach where the nectar comes out. This tilts the feeder just right – so that they can guzzle down nectar comfortably. Good thing we keep plenty of nectar to go around!

    Lovely photos once again. There’s nothing like the sight of birds with all these striking colors and patterns to signal that springtime is here! πŸ™‚

    • Yes, the orioles will do this, until you give them their own specially designed feeder. This they mob and chatter at in glorious flashes of yellow and black. Then the grosbeaks will come and drink out of the orioles feeder. So you supply them with sunflower seeds. You just wait for the goldfinchs because they will share with the grosbeaks. The wood peckers and blue jays will show up later, just to see what all the commotion is about. I can’t wait to see what new species show up this season. Cracking up…..you do see where this will lead you! πŸ˜€
      Now we have a box for the owls away from the songbirds and hummingbird nest boxes away from everything. The orioles weave their own awesome hanging nests. It is an audoban preserve out here. We even have a species of woodpecker that is seriously endangered and not even supposed to be here. They peck on the owl box while the owl hides inside. The hawks just shake their heads and keep flying.

      • Yes, I see! So many beaks to feed! Thanks for all the information on how to handle this. πŸ™‚

        You’re so living my dream Cindy. Some day I plan to live out in the great outdoors so that I might have a greater chance to see all those rare species.

      • I hope you do it. I know you would love it. But if you have an oriole drinking nectar from the hummers feeder, consider going to amazon.com and buying an oriole feeder pronto. They move on post haste. You can have orioles on this feeder, and they are just seriously fascinating birds to watch. Get the feeder with the grape jelly and oranges accomodation, it is like crack cocaine to them. Then you can observe the hummers filching nectar from the orioles feeder and you will be certain many things are just right in this world. <3

    • We don’t, but never say never! I can’t wait to see what new species show up this season. I think The Holler is in the groove with the migrating birdie community. They’re talking, sort of a, “Check out this lady, she has the the sickest (best) buffet you have ever seen. You gotta go there…” Laughing~

  3. Stunning photos Cindy. You must have a super long fast lens?

    We get the black headed Grosbeaks here and I just love their songs. They are still a month out from arriving. We feed them black oil sunflower seeds. Never thought to put out fruit for them! Cheers ~ Rhonda

    • Yes they will eat fruit and drink nectar, but their ultimate prize, as you know, is black oil sunflower seeds. Gosh they are delightful birds. So happy you get to know them.

    • I have the screens out of my windows in my office, and even when it’s cold, I have the windows open. I play the Cornell lab bird songs on my laptop to whatever species is here. I swear sometimes they seem like they will fly in the window. They want to find their singing birdie friend. The hummingbrds monitor it all. They seem amused and curious. For me, this is just a ton of fun!

  4. I love the pictures and the way you talk about the birds.. indeed they are the essence of our lives.. Chirping of birds makes me feel there is a life so unknown out there,, secrets of nature I am yet to explore….

  5. WunderschΓΆne Aufnahmen, Cindy !!! Der 1. Vogel ist der Pirol. Er lebt auch hier in meinem Tal in der Schweiz. Der 2. Vogel muss eine Art Bergfinken sein. Sie fliegen im Winter von Skandinavien nach Mitteleuropa. Den 3. Vogel kenn ich nicht. Liebe GrΓΌsse Ernst

    • Ja du hast Recht Ernst. Es gibt zwei Sorten von orioles hier und der letzte Vogel ist ein Thrasher. Ich liebe, dass wir einige der gleichen Vogel haben! Vielen danke mein Freund~

  6. Cindy you’re photos are absolutely stunning! The vibrancy and clarity are a delight! That last pic of the California Thrasher is so cute. Looks more like a poser than a bewildered bird. “-)

    • Are you still using the Sony HX-300? Is it hand-held or tripod mounted for shots like these? Did I say amazing? I see Sony has a new RX 10 III. They like to make zoomers.

      • You are very kind Johan and yes, those are oranges. Orioles love oranges and grape jelly. You have to time placement to right when they are migrating over you or they will just keep on going. If you keep up the feeder they will build their woven, hanging nests all over your property. I have a rule to never photograph active nests because I do not want to spook the nestlings. I have the Sony HX400 now which is essentially the same with a couple of improvements. The newer Sony’s are tempting to me, but my camera is a good workhorse with up to 1200mm of zoom so I haven’t yet switched.

    • Of course you did. Orioles love oranges and grape jelly! At the grocery store, in midsummer the checkers always commment, “Wow, you sure eat alot of grape jelly, oranges and sugar!” πŸ˜‰

    • Yes, we are waiting for goldfinch and whatever else may show up. It is so wonderful here with all the birds in spring. I found the best feeders to be glass birdbath bowls I buy at Amazon. They are inexprensive (the one’s I buy) and I have one for mixed seeds and dry fruit and one with water. The birdies are eating and drinking in them all day!

      • Actually (when we lived 12 miles south east of Sierra Vista AZ) what we had was ground squirrels…and they’d eat anything that wasn’t tied down πŸ™‚ To feed the birds I used a really long piece of wire hanging in a mesquite tree, attached to a large wooden tray, They were never able to go down it to the food…yay! I like squirrels and don’t mind feeding them but not at the expense of the birds. πŸ™‚

  7. Great photos, Cindy. I love all these signs of spring popping up here and there. Most people associate spring with the budding of flowers and trees, but the return of our birds is a true announcement of spring’s arrival.

  8. Anyone who can make a scrub jay seem quiet and shy has to be really noisy! πŸ™‚ I always find the ‘specialization’ beaks of the various birds fascinating. Great photos, Cindy. –Curt

    • Yes Mark Twain and I agree with you on the wonderful scrub jays. One actually flew close today. He couldn’t stop himself. They generally do not deign to leave the oak and cotton wood creek and come up here to hang with the hoi polloi, but his curiousity got the best of him. I played female scrub jay calls but couldn’t entice him back.
      And yes the beak specialization is so marked and interesting. It tells you what exactly each bird eats, and thus lives.

      • Our jays, both scrub and Stellar, hang around our house and are constantly scolding us for some infraction or the other. πŸ™‚ I have fun watching how the different birds handle sunflower seeds. Jays will rapidly shove 20 or so into there craws before flying off to process them. Grosbeaks sit there and open their treasures on the spot, Nuthatches grab one and dash off to a tree to shove it into a crevice and chip away at it, sparrows grab one an fly over our porch to chip them open on the cement… always leaving a mess. –Curt

      • You are like me Curt. I find this all endlessly entertaining and interesting. Birds behavior is just a lot of fun to observe. I wish I could get my scrub jays closer. I want a Mark Twain scolding from them~

  9. Oh wow Cindy! They are just gorgeous and your captures of them are absolutely stunning! Such colourful little birds. I would sit and watch them all day long and of course, if I could take such great shots like you do, I would sit and take photos all day long. πŸ˜†

    • It is super interesting because these are wild and extremely scared of people creatures, smart birds. I can spend serious time with these intelligent and suprising creatures and not even notice that it has passed. I am interested by them and their behavior. Today a grosbeak chose to eat out the feeder by my hand, only the finches do this, and then an oriole joined him. This never happens with any bird except the hummingbirds.
      It just somehow feels so right to me to be here with them. Thank you for sensing this.

      • These wild little creatures are quite clever Cindy and they absolutely know who they can trust. Time sure flies quickly when spend with these awesome beauties of nature. πŸ˜€

        That is so awesome. They know that you will not hurt them and the only shooting that will happen, will be by your camera. πŸ˜€

        Have fun with them and hope to see some more of your magical shots of them soon. β™₯

    • Well apparently there are 22,000 subspecies of birds (seems like an undercount), so this is not a surprise that you don’t know them, but it is an honor to introduce you, since I know how much you love, know, and photograph, our amazing natural world.

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  12. They are unbelievably beautiful. Love the details and colors your captured, Cindy! I can see they are so happy to be back to Holler. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ <3

    • Well, I do tend to spoil them, just a tad……It is kinda their birdie spa season at The Holler, good food, plenty of drink, sunshine, and lots of r & r! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  13. What a fantastic repertoire of birds at The Holler, Cindy. I can tell they are very pampered, lucky birds — it’s no surprise that they return. Having both orioles is a real treat, the grossbeaks are a treasure, and oh how wonderful to have the thrashers year round. Exquisite photos.

    • It good that I don’t have to try to describe to you Athena, what it feels like to live amongst all these wild birds. It is just wonderful. Be well my friend~ <3

    • They are getting more and more comfortable around me too, allowing me to get closer every few days which is always wonderful. Happy Sunday my friend~

  14. The sound of spring is one of the best symphonies Mother Nature adorns us with…and you’ve captured this well. The third shot of yours seems to fit this spirit ~ crisp and clean and with all the vibrancy and chaos of spring. I’m happy (as I sure you are!) that it has finally arrived.

    • Yes I love spring because it brings the migrating songbirds to The Holler. I so anticipate the hordes of hummers and orioles and anything else that flutters over! Happy Spring Randall~

    • The nectar drinking and fruit eating birds tend to enjoy oranges and grape jelly. Honestly, I don’t get the grape jelly, raspberry yes, grape, not so much! πŸ˜‰ Cheers to you Charlotte~

  15. I wonder why they are called hooded orioles, especially when its only the heck and throat which is black. In India, we often see Golden Orioles. And wow, the trasher bird looked cool, nice pic. we have Indian Robin in same colour as thrasher, but thrasher is longer slender and its curved beak is distinctly different from Indian robin (female)

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  17. Wow! those are glorious little birds. I’m amazed that you can put fresh oranges on a feeder. If I did that, it’d be wasp city in a heartbeat. Do you get wasps in The Holler? They’re very aggressive here and will bite you for no reason.

    • Yes, we do have them and their nests. I have never had one go after me, and would not like it one bit if one did! We also have tarantula wasps and they are one spooky stinging machine. They kill and eat tarantulas.

      • Holy Crap and any number of expressive words come to mind. Cindy !! tarantula wasps that kill flippin tarantulas…..I would faint, scream my brains out or just die of fright. I’m sure I’ll nightmare this soon, LOL

      • Oh, no nightmares please. You are not a tarantula so they don’t want to eat you! I must admit they a spooky bugs, but I have taken to following them when I see them to get a photo. Do you know there is a scientist who tested insect bites on himself to make a hierarchy of insect bite pain. He used anti-venom. Fire ants and the tarantula hawk were the worst. I mean this sounds even worse than the worst co-worker at my last job!!!

  18. We have the Arizona thrasher. They make a distinctive bird call and can be quite comical. We named one “Brownie” and discovered that he likes to eat meatballs after he got into the dog’s dish. Everyday, he hops up onto the front porch, looking for his meatball. After he gets his bite-size piece, he flies away with it, and it is hilarious to watch the other thrasher chase him around the yard, trying to get it!

    • This is making me laugh! I can picture him with the meatball. Ours eats seeds from out bird feeder in a most gangly fashion. They are hilarious birds დ

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