I’m not sure if it’s due to changing precipitation levels or food sources, but, Heppler’s Ponds is sometimes a hit or miss birding site for me. Seeing the female Bullock’s Orioles there was truly an unexpected great find. As it was late August, there were wildflowers in bloom along the farm fencing beside the immense pasture and a beautiful blue sky day for birding!
Life at the First Pond
Utah is full of wild small rodents, which I love seeing. Today’s stop at the first pond yielded a chipmunk of sorts scooting about on a downed tree over the shallow reaches of the pond. They have plenty of coverage in the trees as well as lots of horizontal limbs with which to bask on in the sun.
While checking out the chipmunk, I spotted a yellowish bird I’d never seen before…a Bullock’s Oriole. There were several of them, and they all seemed to be females. Down near the water’s edge where the marsh plants were growing into the water, the Orioles would fly to a downed tree.
Bullock’s Orioles in the Russian Olives
Bullock’s Orioles live near farms, and hang out near watery habitats near Cottonwood trees or Willows. There are several Cottonwoods by Heppler’s Ponds. Their sock-like nests that hang in trees are made from plant fiber, horse hair, string, bark. They line their nest with moss, plant down, wool and hair. Bullock’s Orioles are about 8.75 inches long and have a 12 inch wingspan.
In short, today’s trip to Heppler’s turned out to be a birding trip I enjoyed completely!