by Larry Czajkoski

In birding, the most common list is the life list. A life list is a list of all the birds you’ve seen at least once in your life. This month and next I’ll be introducing two new birds that I was able to recently add to my life list…not just by seeing them, but also photographing them. What is even more exciting is that I spotted these two birds in Morse Park Gardens in downtown Lake Lure. In fact, in just 3-4 hours across two days in late May walking through Morse Park I was able to see and identify more than a dozen different birds. And for that, I’m sending a shout out of “Great Work” to the Town staff and Parks & Recreation Board for creating such an excellent birding environment right here in our town’s backyard.15_Baltimore Oriole_(MALE) PHOTO_B_Jul2016 Issue_img_2372   (3)

The male Baltimore Oriole, with sharp pointed bill, black head and wings and bright orange body is one of our most strikingly colored birds. Much of the year is spent in the tropics region, and in North Carolina this bird will arrive in the April timeframe, breed and is a sometime summer visitor to the mountains, before leaving again. The Baltimore’s nest is the familiar deep pouch swinging at the end of a slender limb. This bird is a good singer and an energetic devourer of insects. Its call and song is a musical irregular sequence of hew-li and other notes. The name originates from the colors of the coat of arms from the well known Lord Baltimore (Governor of Maryland) of pioneer days. Next month, from the gardens we’ll spy an orchard.