Date: 11/9/17 10:52 am From: Lena Gallitano <lbg...> Subject: Baltimore Orioles & Migratory Bird Treaty Act
Good afternoon Carolinabirders,
The first Baltimore Oriole I saw in my yard here in Raleigh was on November 17, 2002 - the first day I started Project Feeder Watch as encouragement to take time and do more birding at home. It was eating from a ground feeder (a behavior never to be seen again) but then flew up to a saucer nectar feeder I had failed to take in where it got a taste of some sour nectar. I raced out and cleaned the nectar feeder and for the last 15 years I've had Baltimore Orioles spend the winter with me. Now they get grape jelly and nectar! The numbers have ranged from 2 - 13 throughout most of the winter months and I saw 18 one day during migration.
This winter I've seen seven at one time and I'm pretty sure I can document the decline due to habitat destruction from the in-fill homes here in my neighborhood where the builders remove all the trees.
Baltimore Orioles are one of our migrating birds and I remember seeing one along with a Rose-breasted Grosbeak sitting in a treetop in Panama. Maybe a couple of others on this Carolinabirds will remember them too. I have no doubt the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act has offered Baltimore Orioles and hundreds of other species protection along their migratory routes over the last 99 years. While Baltimore Orioles are not as widespread or iconic as other birds that have been protected by the MBTA, they certainly do bring color and joy to my winter days.