In a Boulder backyard, a striking Bullock’s Oriole perched on a feeder. Its vibrant plumage, a tapestry of oranges and blacks, stood out amidst the natural surroundings. This rare sighting had the local birdwatching community buzzing with excitement!

The epic pic showcased this avian guest against the backdrop of Colorado’s rugged beauty. It captured the essence of unexpected encounters in the wild, where nature’s wonders always held the power to surprise. The Bullock’s Oriole, a fleeting visitor, momentarily transformed an ordinary backyard into a birdwatcher’s paradise.

Bullock’s Orioles, found in the open woodlands of the western U.S., are known for their nimble canopy-gleaning behavior. These striking birds have a distinctive appearance: adult males display a vibrant flame-orange plumage with a distinct eye line and a white wing patch. In contrast, females have a more subdued coloring, characterized by shades of gray and orange.

One remarkable aspect of their behavior is their ability to forage while dangling upside down from branches. They are skilled nest weavers, creating hanging nests that are a wonder of avian architecture.

Bullock’s Orioles have a diverse diet that includes insects, fruit, and nectar. This nectar-feeding behavior can be a delight for bird enthusiasts who offer nectar, jelly, and orange halves in their summer backyards, attracting these colorful visitors.

When trying to spot Bullock’s Orioles, listen for their distinctive whistling and chuckling songs, which can often be heard in tall trees along rivers and streams in their habitat. These songs are a pleasant addition to the soundscape of their woodland homes.

photo credit: Lenny Frieling