Tag Archives: Northern Orioles

Orioles? Fingers Crossed!

I saw on my local Wild Bird Unlimited Facebook page today that Baltimore Orioles have been spotted in the area. I tried to attract them on their spring migration last year but no luck. They are in the area only 4-6 weeks unless they nest nearby.

But, last year I was a couple of weeks later putting the oriole feeder out with grape jelly and oranges. Also, I hung it on the feeder pole with all my other feeders and I later learned that they can be intimidated by other birds.

This year I hung it by itself and more out in the open by the hummingbird feeder. Orioles are attracted to orange and this time of year they love nectar, grape jelly and oranges. Later in the summer, they need more protein and you can switch to mealworms.

Hopefully they find my little haven and stop by.  Maybe even build a nest?

The only time I’ve seen Orioles in the area was a few years ago on a nearby golf course.  They were nesting high up in the trees and it was fun to see them each week.

Want to see if they are in your area? Check out eBird by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and Audubon Society. Journey North is another citizen science site that monitors both seasonal change and migration of a wildlife species including some birds. Or, drop by your local Wild Bird Unlimited to find out what they are seeing.

Spring in Northern Michigan??

While I’ve had my share of bad winter and spring weather here in Chicago, it still isn’t nearly as harsh as it’s been at my mom Peggy’s house in Northern Michigan.  She’s still patiently (??) waiting for the soil to get warm enough to get her plants in the ground.  Just yesterday morning, there was yet another dusting of snow and overnight frosty temperatures in the low 30’s.  While it may be a nuisance, Peggy did get some beautiful pictures that for the moment make you forget it’s mid-May.



Stephi Gardens: Photos by Peggy


Stephi Gardens: Photos by Peggy

Keeping the Orioles alive in the cold!

Hummingbird Feeder

Yum! Fresh oranges for the birds are a hit.

Hummingbird feeder

Everything is ready, except the weather!

Gardening in soil bag

Photos by Peggy


Stephi Gardens: Photos by Peggy

Has spring truly felt like it’s arrived at your house yet?  


Photos by Peggy


Sunday Feature: Wildlife on the Golf Course

One of the best places I’ve found to observe nature has been on the golf course.   I’m not really a very good golfer (been known to just pick up my ball on occasion), but I love being out on the courses with friends and family.  Right from the beginning, I’ve always had a little bag with me with binoculars, a camera and in the old days, my old trusty bird book. I am always careful though, not to slow anyone else down. That’s a good way to irritate the other golfers on the course. IMG_3488

Nowadays, I’m more apt to have just my iPhone, which has a great deal of memory taken up with the Audubon series of nature guides.  It can also substitute for a camera, if I need to cut back on something.    I’ve seen the mundane, as well as the very exciting, once in a lifetime types of sightings.   It was on golf courses on Kiawah Island and in MI where I’ve seen the only Pileated Woodpeckers I’ve ever seen.  I’ve also seen many interesting herons, storks, hawks, ospreys, Bald Eagles, ducks, as well as songbirds like Baltimore Orioles, hummingbirds, goldfinches, wrens, swallows, killdeer, and bluebirds.  I’ve even seen one of my partners attacked mercilessly by an overprotective, nesting red-winged blackbird, and twice seen killdeer putting on their broken wing act to distract us away from its nest.

Then there’s the mammals, insects and reptiles.  Many different types of  squirrels, which I swear sometimes steal the balls for fun, deer, turtles, snakes, dragonflies, butterflies, and of course, alligators.  You learn quickly to just leave those balls behind that roll near the ponds or into the swampy grass.  That low, grumbling noise of a mother alligator calling her babies is not something to mess with.

Enjoy some of my more recent photos.

Snowy Egrets

Snowy Egrets


Wood Stork

Black-Crowned Night Heron

Great Blue Heron

Tri-color Heron








Pileated Woodpecker

IMG_2408 (1)



Fox Squirrel







BIG alligator

Baby Alligator

baby alligator

Have you seen anything interesting on the golf course?  Next time, be sure to keep your eyes open to see what you can find around you.

Purchase the new edition of this field guide from Barnes and Noble

Purchase the new edition of this field guide from Barnes and Noble