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            January 22, 2007

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Yellow backed Oriole, Icterus chrysater

Peterson called the Yellow backed Oriole, the 'Mayan' Oriole in his famous 1947 birdwatchers guide after encountering it on British Honduras's Yucatan point.

The Yellow Oriole is a bird of open woodland, scrub and gardens. Its nest is a 40 cm long hanging basket, suspended from the end of a branch. The normal clutch is three pale green or grey eggs.

This is a 20-21 cm long, 38 g weight bird, with mainly yellow plumage, as its name suggests. The adult male has a black eye mask, thin black throat line, black tail and black wings with a white wing bar and some white feather edging.

The female is similar but slightly duller, and the juvenile bird has an olive-tinged yellow back, and lacks black on the face.

There are four subspecies of Yellow Oriole, of which three are restricted to islands. They differ from the widespread nominate race of the mainland in body and bill size, and minor plumage details.

This species eats mainly large insects, but will also take nectar and some fruit.

The song of the Yellow Oriole is a pleasant melodious fluting, with some buzzing. The calls include a cat-like whine, and chattering noises.
Photo by Barnacle Bill of Barnacle Bill's Beach Bungalows         Click here to comment on this picture .

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