Baltimore Oriole on River Birch Original Baltimore Oriole on River Birch Original

Baltimore Oriole on River Birch (Original)

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I’ve long been fascinated studying and photographing Baltimore orioles with their bright orange and black plumage and unique hanging nest made from strands of grass, grapevine bark, horsehair, string or any other long fiber they can find.

Eating a variety of insects, fruit and nectar they are relatively easy to attract to backyard feeders by putting out halved oranges or jelly. To photograph orioles in a variety of body positions I often mount several branches angling up and away from a bowl containing a scoop of grape jelly. The orioles land on the end of the branches and rapidly progress down the limb with me trying to take photos every time they strike an interesting pose. 

Near my deck grows a weathered, old river birch that is a favored perch for orioles and other birds on their way to the feeders. The back-lit birch leaves glowing as the early morning light passes through them create an interesting patchwork with shades of greens and yellows. Along with the male and female catkins, the birch provides an interesting backdrop for this painting.

My neighborhood is also home to a wide range of plants and animals including a healthy population of Eastern gray tree frogs, so it seemed only natural to include one of these little amphibians perched on a leaf. Most summers we have several that spend the heat of the day in our covered gutters or one of the many flower or vegetable pots Marcia puts out on our deck then come out at night and feast on the insects attracted to our kitchen windows and deck lights. Being able to change their camouflage between a range of greens to mottled greys,  they are able to match the surface they are sitting on, thus the individual in the painting displays a green pattern." – Larry

Original Oil Painting

Image Size: 12"x16"

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