The first two birds pictured here are a very colorful yellow-orange and black male, and more muted yellow female Bullock’s Oriole. They are exciting and beautiful birds to watch as they soar from tree to tree and down to backyard feeders. Their vibrant yellow colors make them easy to pick out among the more ordinary neighborhood birds.

Bullock’s Orioles, scientifically named “Ictarus bullock,” don’t spend a lot of time in Rio Rancho. They arrive in early May for their breeding season, and generally only stay until mid- to late-July. They have very loud calls, and the females build their pouch-like nests high up in suburban trees. The female will lay up to seven blueish-white or gray eggs, which will hatch after about 11 days. The young will leave the nest after about another two weeks. They love fruits like oranges, and will often feed on cups of grape jelly. They will also try to feed from sugar water feeders if the feeders are stable enough to hold their weight.

The third picture is a little bully of a bird called a Rufus Hummingbird, scientifically named “Selasphorus Rufus.” The bird pictured here is a male, with his almost entirely orange coloring. Females differ in that they have a more speckled green coloring along their back and head. These birds swing through New Mexico during their migration just after Independence Day, and they stay for a short visit until late-August or mid-September — though some stragglers can be seen into October. One can hear this bird coming by their much deeper hum as they fly, and they will harass other hummingbirds until they leave a feeder. They love sugar water and will also eat tiny insects. They are extremely territorial and will take over a back yard. And when the light catches them well, their gorget (the neck area) will glow a vibrant red-orange! They are really quick, and tricky to photograph.


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