Jim Gilbert's Nature Notes: Saying goodbye to Baltimore orioles

  • by: Jim Gilbert , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 28, 2014 - 9:40 AM

Orioles are among the night-migrating birds. Like most temperate-zone birds, they begin their migrations because of the change in the length of daylight. For more than 35 years I have kept track of the spring arrival and the autumn departure of Baltimore orioles in the areas around Lake Minnetonka and throughout the Twin Cities. I have found that the first ones return on or close to May 1, and nearly all leave by the end of the first week of September. At some feeding stations, dozens of Baltimore orioles will come for sugar water or grape jelly on a day in late August or early September. And the next day, not a one. It seems quiet. We miss their orange and black colors but we also miss their songs and chatter.

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