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Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius), Sun City Grand, Maricopa County

This Orchard Oriole was photographed by Dominic Sherony on 02 December 2008 in Sun City Grand in Surprise Arizona at a private residence not open to visitors.  Although not previously reported, this bird is apparently returning for the third winter to feed at the hummingbird feeders. 

Orchard Oriole is a casual transient in Arizona, mostly in late spring and summer with a few winter records.  Adult males like this are the most distinctive North American oriole and are unmistakable.

Note the grayish olive tips to the back and breast feathers.  These are typical of fresh basic (winter) plumaged males.  These tips will wear away and by the end of the winter the plumage will then resemble the alternate (breeding) plumage with black back and solid chestnut breast. 

02 December 2008, photo by Dominic Sherony

All photographs copyrightę by the photographer. 


Submitted on 02 December 2008

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