Bullock’s Oriole

This morning I got a phone call from Rich Guthrie, that a male Bullock’s Oriole was being seen at private feeder in Columbia County, New York.  After getting the necessary details, Danika and I decided to go for it.  We got Sophia off to school and Lillian on the bus and then we were off.  The location is roughly an hour from Albany and well with the boundaries of my Region 8 Big Year.

We arrived at the location around 11:30 am, as we pulled up I saw a streak of orange take off from the feeders and into a nearby evergreen, where we promptly lost it.  So we waited.  American Goldfinches, Blue Jays, Black-Capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Downy Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers were constant at the feeders while American Tree Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrows fed on the spilled seed on the ground with a few Northern Cardinals and Mourning Doves.  As we watched the feeders some more (Still no Oriole mind you), a small group of Pine Siskins came to the feeders, along with House and a lone Purple Finch.  On a tree near the feeders we spotted a Brown Creeper working its way up along with a White-breasted Nuthatch.

After half and hour or so, Danika and took a drive around the neighborhood.  Didn’t find much, except a spot where a bunch of Blue Jays, Woodpeckers, Black-capped Chickadees and Titmice were making a racket.  We searched, but could only assume that they had found an Eastern Screech Owl.  Those things can blend right in sometimes!

We returned to the feeders, with time running short (We had to be back by 2pm to get Lillian off the bus).  While we waited, some fellow Region 8 Big Year folk showed up to watch as well.  Then we finally saw a flash of orange again, and there on the deck was a stunning (especially in the snow) male Bullock’s Oriole (a life, state, regional, county and year bird for me!).  The bird was skittish and did not allow for any photo opportunities.  However this bird has been hanging around for a few days now and the home owner has gotten some pretty good shots, which you can find here.

So check the page above for the updated total!


5 responses to “Bullock’s Oriole

  1. Terrific bird! One I’d love to see. We had one in Cape May last year but I didn’t get down there. There’s been a Green-tailed Towhee in south Jersey for 2 weeks and I haven’t been able to go. While not a lifer, it’s a state bird and one that hasn’t been seen in 23 years.

  2. Thanks for visiting! This is Day 7 of the oriole’s local residency. In case he plans to stay for awhile, I’ve ordered a feeder for him & made better temporary arrangements, as well as buying him some dehydrated mealworms to add protein to his strawberry jelly diet! Viewing will be better now, since I am feeding him from the bottom of my hummingbird feeder–a small round tray–from a deck bracket. People are welcome to come. Please just respect the wildlife who come to my yard.

  3. Folks,

    If you come to visit, please park on Fairview Drive. Route 7A is heavily travelled & people drive quickly. My house is just down from a hill & visibility is limited. Please be careful. The oriole is a bit spooky. If you come closer than the road, he will probably not come to the deck or stay on the deck. I have alerted the local police that there may be heavier traffic in the area than usual, so please parkk & stand safely.

  4. The oriole has been at my house for 2 weeks now. If you’d like to visit, you can email me the day before & I’ll verify if he’s still around–mudderbbc@gmail.com. Please don’t block my mailbox when you park. I’ve already missed mail delivery once. I will, also, be updating the bird’s activity on my flickr set at

    In Memory of Bob

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