Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Most Beautiful Song

The Daily DuBrule

I just spent the past two days in Farmington at the Hillstead Museum May Market. What a magnificent setting and what a gracious, lovely place on a perfect spring weekend. Friday started out with a welcoming chorus from a bird in the large tree near our vendor booth. It was so loud and so beautiful that it couldn't be ignored. As we were setting up and starting to sell our plants, the song continued. Finally, I stopped working and stood staring at the source of this song and spotted a Baltimore Oriole. What a gift!

People came over all day long to listen and watch for the this bird. It turns out that many avid gardeners are also birders. Lots of information about Baltimore orioles was passed about, including the fact that they love the tall oaks. Upon studying my favorite bird book, I read that they prefer large trees bordering open meadows. That pretty much describes the Hillstead Museum grounds. 

When I lived in my cottage at the beach, I was often woken up at dawn by the distinctive song of the Baltimore oriole. It would sit in the trumpet vine that clambered over the giant boulders outside my window. I always wondered if it was eating insects from the backs of the trumpet flowers. It turns out it was there for the sweet nectar. These birds eat caterpillars and various other insects in large numbers, a gift for gardeners bothered by tent caterpillars as well as beetles, borers, and other pests. They also eat fruit and flower nectar. 

We had an oriole couple at Natureworks last year. I hope they return and decide to make our garden center their home again this year. They are a welcome sight in any garden setting.

To listen to the sound of Baltimore orioles, click on this link.

1 comment:

  1. i want you to know that i really enjoy reading your blog every day. thank you for keeping up with this! i enjoy the pictures you post along with the we can see exactly what you are referring to.