Northern Oriole Migration Update, 5/12/95

Northern Oriole Migration Update, May 12, 1995

In this report you will find:

1) An update from the Oriole Squad, Canton, New York 2) Minnesota students' reporting the simultaneous arrival of leaves and orioles. 3) Tips for feeding orioles, from author Carrol Henderson. 4) The latest sightings, collected with help from the Oriole Squad.


* May 13 is International Migratory Bird Day, sponsored by Partners in Flight and others. This year's theme is "Sharing a Passion for Birds", so take a kid birding. If this is not enough lead time, don't be constrained by this week or day, you have all summer. Information, poster, T-shirts, etc are available from IMBD--USFWS, Rm. 634, Arlington, VA 22203. A 32 page guide, "Citizen's Guide to Migratory Bird Conservation" is available from the Martha Fischer at the Cornell Lab (159 Sapsucker Woods Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850) for $5 ($2.00 in quantity).

* Do you know about the North American Migration Count? It's a nationwide bird count of all individuals and bird species seen/heard during on day in May. This year it will be held on May 13, 1995. This is a one-day snapshot of the seasonality and magnitude of migration. (Contact: Jim Stasz, Box 71, North Beach MD 20714 (410-257-9540).

* Finally, you can help migratory birds by not ground- feeding grackles, cowbirds, and other nest predators. Keep your cat indoors, at least during the nesting season, if not forever! Urge your local planning board to require cluster development and greenspace. Write you senators and President Clinton your thoughts on property rights, risk assessment, the Endangered Species Act, and other current issues. (Remember HR 9, passed by the House in late February? It will raise its head in the Senate. Can some one give us specific bill numbers, etc.)


Students in Northfield, MN have sited northern orioles and oak leaves the size of a quarter! About 15 orioles were sited west of Northfield on Highway 19 on Sunday, May 7. Individual orioles were sited at surrounding towns of Dundas and Dennison on the same day.

Our class went on a field trip to collect data on oak leaf size. The oak trees were budding, but no leaves were seen on May 5, 1995. The weather was in the 60's F, and by Sunday, May 7 students were also finding oak leaves the size of a quarter. It appears that the oak leaves and orioles arrived and opened at the same time. Eric Johnson and Students 0659joh@InforMNs.k12.MN.US

WELCOME BACK ORIOLES by Carrol Henderson, Minnesota DNR

"Northern orioles are at last returning from their wintering grounds in Central America!

"There are two easy ways to attract orioles to your bird feeders at this time of year. First, try putting out orange halves on a tray. Push the oranges onto small nails so they do not fall off the feeder. The feeding tray can be on a tree stump, on top of a post, or on a deck or patio railing. You can also attract orioles by putting small shallow trays or dishes of grape jelly near the orange halves. (Cheaper generic brands of grape jelly are just fine for the orioles. ) They seem to be attracted by the bright orange colors of the oranges, but appear to prefer the grape jelly to the juice in the orange halves.

"Once the orioles start coming to the grape jelly dish, they will come all summer. They may even go through three or four jars of grape jelly. When the chicks leave the nest, the parents bring them to the feeder and pass little blobs of grape jelly from beak to beak!"

(Watch for Carrol's new book this August called ,"Wild About Birds". He doubled the number of bird species coming to his feeders by following the recommendations you'll find in the book.)

Date Location April 28 Easthampton, Massachusetts April 28 Davis, California May 1 Weston, Massachusetts May 6 Thornton, Colorado May 6 Schneider, Indiana May 6 Charlotte, North Carolina May 7 Chicago, Illinois May 7 Northfield, Minnesota May 7 Minneapolis, Minnesota May 7 Chicago, Illinois May 9 Indianapolis, Indiana May 10 Wayzata, Minnesota May 11 Minneapolis, Minnesota

Journey North 125 North First Street Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401 Phone: (612)339-6959