[CT Birds] Please Reply

james.bair at snet.net james.bair at snet.net
Tue May 18 22:29:30 EDT 2010


> (4) I see baltimore orioles everywhere this year; at least
> five times more than I am used to.? Is it just my luck
> or is it true that there seem to be more than usual?

Perhaps it is just where I hang out, but I have heard more Baltimore Orioles this year than I have in a few years. They do tend to be cyclical. They and the cuckoos are about the only birds that regularly eat hairy caterpillars. They have a better survival rate the years they get more to eat and to feed their young. Perhaps someone who knows more about Lepidoptera can chime in, but I think last year was better than normal for caterpillars. Of course, this year is nothing like 1981 and 1982 for orioles and cuckoos--that was the last time we had the really big Gypsy Moth invasion (plague?). I remember driving Route 8 in the summer of '81 and the only green trees were the evergreens. The next year there were orioles everywhere. Even non-birders were noticing them then. If you were an oriole, it was a feast.

I seem to recall a year or two ago someone posting the population ups and downs of Baltimore Orioles since the seventies on this web site or in the Connecticut Warbler. That might give us some indication of trends.

Jim Bair


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