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WHO’S THE MOST COLORFUL

Male Bullock’s Orioles are loud and brightly colored yet are surprisingly difficult to see well except when they first arrive from the tropics to breed on the Chico. Related to meadowlarks and grackles, the feature that all Icterids have is a strong, straight and pointed bill. Most passerines have 10 primary feathers on each wing; not so the Icterids which only have 9. Bullock’s Orioles place their nests far out on thin branches hanging their basket-shaped nest away from predatory fox squirrels and tree climbing snakes. They often find colored twine to line their nests making finding one of them easy. Bullock’s Orioles just arrived two days ago.

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