Male Bullock’s Oriole, Lockwood Park. May 2016. Photo: K. Fitzgerald.
- Medium-sized songbird.
- Male: Bright orange body, black on top of head and shoulders. White wing patch.
- Female: Gray body, pale yellow head and tail.
- Present May to August.
Bullock’s Oriole are summer residents of the Truckee River region, and a fairly common sight along lower elevation portions of the river (from Verdi to Pyramid Lake) from May until August. They are occasionally spotted at higher elevations near Lake Tahoe, but this is more rare (see eBird database).
Bullock’s Oriole form breeding pairs after arriving at their summer nesting grounds, and weave pear-shaped nests that hang from high in the cottonwood trees. Nests are made from hair, grasses, twine or other fibers. They are lined with soft material, including “cotton” from the seeds of cottonwoods and willows (Rising & Williams 1999).
Bullock’s Oriole feed on insects, fruit, and nectar from flowers. They will sometimes hang upside-down from branches while they feed (Rising & Williams 1999).
Toward the end of August, Bullock’s Orioles begin migrate south toward wintering grounds in Mexico. They remain there until the following March, when they begin their journey back to the north (Rising & Williams 1999).
References & Links
eBird Database. 2016. Bullock’s Oriole. Available: http://ebird.org/ebird/map/bulori
Rising, James D. and Pamela L. Williams. 1999. Bullock’s Oriole (Icterus bullockii), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu.unr.idm.oclc.org/bna/species/416