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Monday, June 5, 2017

My CDRI mission

In April the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute opened a new bird blind. While it has a few challenges, all around it's a great addition there. Challenges are that when approaching the blind (lower right on photo) all the birds flush. The approach should ideally come from behind the blind. Also the blind faces west which is good for morning birding, but bad for afternoon birding. They'll find that out if they get a rare species there that hangs around all day and photographers arrive in the afternoon wanting to photograph it. My opinion is that the blind should face north.

Anyway, on May 30 some unknown birder entered a sighting of a rare Black-vented Oriole on the blind's daily log sheet.

That notation apparently went unnoticed by the birding community in general. Then on June 3rd a birder (Hannah Park) reported the same species to ebird. That got attention. So I went there on the 4th (yesterday) in the afternoon to check it out. It was Sunday and no one had filled any feeders or put out oranges. Seems the person that was in charge of doing it had a dog emergency. 

Water feature seen from inside the blind

The personnel at the center told me Josh Burns had come looking for the Black-vented Oriole on either May 31 or June 1. I haven't talked to him but I feel certain he would have reported it had he seen it. Ebird will need to check further with Hannah. She claimed the bird wasn't a Scott's Oriole because it had no white on the wings like a Scott's does. And whoever reported it on May 30th also reported a Scott's, so it seems they were knowledgeable enough to know the difference (with the help of an onsite Sibley bird guide, at least).

Luckily, I had a Halo orange in the car among my snacks, so I shared some of it with the birds. I put a couple of segments of it inside a dry empty orange rind.

Scott's Oriole
This morning I decided that to be absolutely certain there was no Black-vented Oriole there I should spend the morning there. I arrived way before 8 AM to discover they don't open until 9 AM. So I passed time until then. Best birding is always early morning, like from 7-9 AM. Oh, well. At 9 AM I put out an orange. I had stopped at the store in Alpine to get one before leaving town. It cost $1.35 so I thought I should at least have a photo of it to show for the expenditure.😀 Cheaper than spending $5 for a bag of Halos.

Shortly after I put out the orange someone came with a bag of them as well as sugar water for the hummingbird feeders. But patience was never my virtue. 😔

While I waited for the prized oriole I passed time listening to Montezuma Quail. The oriole never showed up so if one ever was there, I declare it no longer is.

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