Last light, Stone Steps © Robert Sommers 2023

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Hooded oriole

It is supposed to start raining pretty hard later today in my little corner of Southern California.  It's been dark and cloudy all day. I got up early to put the oranges and jam out for the orioles. And saw the pair for the splittest of seconds and then they disappeared into the senegalese date palm in a flash.

I sat down and watched the daily show at the bird feeder for about an hour. First to show were the white crowned sparrows, then the towhees, like clockwork the lesser goldfinches made their grand appearance. Couple scrub jays made the scene, then a house finch or two. The doves fluttered in, there is a definite pecking order at the feeder. And of course you get the guys who glean the ground for left overs too.

But the orioles never showed again. And since they eat fruit and insects and not seed you normally don't see them near a feeder. But mine have been eating grape jelly for three days and I thought they would allow me at least a picture or two. Hey, a little gratitude!

Truthfully, they are the most furtive of birds, very cautious around humans. Bit ostracized from their avian cousins too, if truth be told, they tend to hang on distant branch.

And I started to think about them today. Could it be that they have a self awareness of their extraordinary beauty that seems to set them apart from the other birds in the yard and their world?

Little Kelly LeBrock's, don't hate me because I am beautiful... Is it possible that these birds have an attitude, an innate narcissism, a knowledge that they are the prettiest bird on the wing?

Are we dealing with a textbook case of Oriole superiority complex?

My spouse and I went for a walk, perhaps the last exercise we would get before the evening deluge.

I espied the oriole (not the one you see in the picture, that is from my files) on top of an orange tree in my yard, seemingly looking at me and taunting me.

Ha ha, you want to see me, it will be on my terms, pal.

So be it.


Jon Harwood said...

There might be a birdie sense of beauty. I read an article (can't remember for citation) that summarized research on the Birds of Paradise. The author said that the birds evolve toward the female bird's sense of the beautiful as those males with the most outlandish display are those selected for breeding by the female.

Blue Heron said...

The wonderful birds of paradise and their long wild scripted dances are indeed, too much.

Scrota Voce said...

Nah, wood duck is da bomb.

J. J. Audabon