Hooded Oriole and Phainopepla in Big Pine

Observers: Tom & Jo Heindel
Email: tjheindelataoldotcom
Remote Name:
Date: 03/30/04
Time: 02:23 PM


On 30 March we had an immature male Hooded Oriole come in to one of our hummer feeders. Don't know if it was Prather's bird of a week ago or another. It had a long decurved bill and long graduated tail and stippled black bib. Their movement north through the Owens Valley is a paradox as they don't breed north of here on the east side of the Sierra. So how/where do they cross the Sierra to get to Sacramento Valley where they do breed? Or do these birds retreat after realizing their mistake? Or do they summer? Where? While watching the oriole chug-a-lug the syrup it was chased away by an adult male Phainopepla! This is a real surprise because at this time of the year they are breeding in the southeast quadrant of Inyo County. Susan Steele just found a female on a nest 28 March on Western Talc Road near China Ranch (Tecopa area).They usually don't arrive in the Owens Valley until late June/early July when they breed again, often at Hogback riparian north of Lone Pine. Then an adult male Costa's Hummer and an adult male Cassin's Finch (2 males and 3 females yesterday!)flaunted their colors.