Frame To Frame – Bob and Jean

Baltimore Orioles At Rosetta McClain Gardens

Baltimore Orioles At Rosetta McClain Gardens

Baltimore Oriole male on grass - Rosetta McClain Gardens - toronto

The same day that Bob and I drove downtown in Toronto to watch the Cliff Swallows building their nests, we dropped in at Rosetta McClain Gardens to see what migrating birds were on site.  Over 52 species had been observed there on one occasion recently, and with our cooler spring, we thought many might still be hanging around.  In fact, we only caught up with a pair of Baltimore Orioles (Icterus galbula) and numerous Bank Swallows.

Rosetta McClain Gardens - toronto

The gardens were abloom with many spring flowers including the orange Fritillaria seen above, and it was fairly quiet owing to the fact that we were visiting on a Monday.  It is the park’s location at the edge of Lake Ontario that makes it a hotspot for birdwatching throughout most of the year.

Baltimore Oriole male on grass - Rosetta McClain Gardens - toronto 3

Bob and I had begun our walk by skirting the open areas of the park via the fringe of trees on the west side.  It was along the trail bordering the cliffs that this male Baltimore Oriole was busy foraging in the grass.  I was able to sneak up on it by hiding myself behind the trunk of a massive tree.

Baltimore Oriole male looks back - Rosetta McClain Gardens - toronto

My caution was probably unnecessary as other visitors to the park passed by the bird without disturbing its attention to the task at hand.

Baltimore Oriole female on bush - Rosetta McClain Gardens - toronto

Suddenly, I caught a glimpse of pale orange in a bush growing just below the edge of the cliff upon which the park is located.  That turned out to be a female Baltimore Oriole.  She didn’t sit still long enough for me to get any decent photos at that point, but before long, she moved into a tree not far from the grassy area where the male was still searching for insects.

Baltimore Oriole male on bush - Rosetta McClain Gardens - toronto

For a prolonged period of time, the male remained on the ground, but the two birds maintained constant communication with one another.  At last, the male moved into the lower branches of the same tree.

Baltimore Oriole female at buds - Rosetta McClain Gardens - toronto

The pale blue sky far above created a nice background for this photograph of the female Baltimore Oriole where she perched next to some frothy blossoms.  The Oriole was gently tossed about by a constant onshore breeze, so I was surprised that I got some clear shots of her as she bobbed amongst the slim branches.   Her pale orange breast stands out beautifully.

Baltimore Oriole male on tree - Rosetta McClain Gardens - toronto

Seeing as the afternoon was getting on, Bob and I just enjoyed observing the Orioles rather than seeking birds in other areas of the park.  The murmuring of water in the nearby fountain was a pleasing addition to the sounds of nature,

Baltimore Oriole female at buds on bush - Rosetta McClain Gardens - toronto

but it was the flute-like whistling song of the Baltimore Orioles that stole the show.  Their warbling was so cheerful with its undulating series of bold rich tones, it was almost like the birds were heralding the onset of warmer weather.

Baltimore Oriole male at buds - Rosetta McClain Gardens - toronto

I certainly take great pleasure in seeing Baltimore Orioles each spring.  They are not resident in our own neighborhood, but do grace us with their presence on occasion as they pass through during migration.  In fact, that same day, we returned home late in the afternoon to find a pair feasting at an orange we had placed at a feeder in our own backyard.  That was an added bonus to our day of birdwatching .  Bob and I were entertained all evening by these colourful backyard visitors.

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Frame To Frame – Bob and Jean