Today we are back at my new favorite South Dakota birding spot. If you recall, I have had a number of posts already from Lake Andes thanks to the very successful birding outing we had there while making a brief stop on our way to Yellowstone National Park. As mentioned numerous times before, for a spot that had zero people visiting while we were there and little to no advertising in or around this specific location but for a small sign in the parking lot, this location provided a wealth of new fodder for the blog and numerous ticks on the Bird Life List. Pretty much the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve equivalent of the South Dakotas!
With that, I’d like to introduce you to the newest member of my birding list, the Orchard Oriole.
Truth be told, I had no idea what species this bird was while out in the field snapping the shots. Initial guess was a molting Oriole only because it was similar to the Baltimore Orioles I’ve seen, but a lot duller. The Baltimores wear a brilliant shade of orange compared to this specimen. It did sport that daunting dagger of a bill found on Orioles and quite frankly was as flighty as those more colorful versions. Up, down, left, right, near, far … the damn thing wouldn’t stand still long enough for me to get a good angle on it. It is a miracle the Beast was able to catch it, much less get all the critical angles to help identify it in the digital darkroom. Although it would have been ideal to get more of the bill in the next shot, it is still my favorite of the lot since it gives a nice view of the markings making it super easy to identify.
Hit the jump to read a bit more about this interesting bird.