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Spotted Breasted Oriole - May 20, 2011

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I’ve been seeing these birds for several years in my back yard but never got a good enough look at them to identify.  A recent purchase of a telephoto lens allowed me a closer look.  It’s a spotted breasted oriole Icterus pectoralis.  It’s not native to the U.S. but an import from Central America.  Apparently, they were originally brought in to Dade county.  

This year, I have a male and female.  The spotted breasted oriole is identified by black spots on the breast and large amounts of white on the wings.  The male is a deeper color than the female but pretty much the same.

I noticed they kept flying to a ponytail palm on the west side of the house.  A closer look revealed two, maybe three babies.  After a while, I lost track of them and then noticed a fluttering in the Cabada palms on the north side of the house.

Apparently one of the chicks took its maiden flight out of the nest.  He was holding on for dear life waiting for his parents to show him what to do next. 

Unfortunately, that night a severe storm blew through and I never saw the baby again, nor the parents.  Hopefully, they’ll be back next year. 

© Fred Searcy 2017