Friday, May 18, 2012

Mystery Oriole at Desert Botanical Garden

Taken by Jeff Stemshorn, morning of May 16th, 2012, in the Wildflower Garden at DBG.

Spotted just days ago by photographer Jeff Stemshorn at the Desert Botanical Garden, this possible Baltimore Oriole seems way off course.  Is it really a Baltimore Oriole who took a wrong turn, or is it a first-year male Scott's Oriole?  Or is this a Bullock's x Baltimore hybrid?

According to Desert Botanical Garden birdwalk leader Diana Herron this might be a first for the Garden!

Anyone care to venture a guess as to what species of Oriole this could be???


On May 22, 2012,  AZFO confirmed Jeff Stemshorn's sighting as being a Baltimore Oriole"Rare migrant.  Possibly becoming more regular.  About 20 accepted records with three more pending. Adult males are easily separated from Bullock's Oriole by the solid black head.  Hybrids usually have an orange supercillium and more white in the wing coverts" 


  1. It definitely isn't a Bullock's Oriole, but it could be a young Scott's Oriole, which is not a common bird but can still be found in the Phoenix area.

    Either way, great sighting!

  2. This is a great find and an interesting problem. I have been studying the field guides and I would definitely go with a young Scott's Oriole from the pictures. However, I can't wait to find out what the experts final decision is on this!


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