A rare Hooded Oriole was spotted visiting a hummingbird feeder in Sidney, by resident Stan Coe. The photo has been flagged on the BC Rare Bird Alert website, stating the bird was visiting Coe’s property from Feb. 16 to March 17, but has not been seen again since. (Photo courtesy of Stan Coe)

A rare Hooded Oriole was spotted visiting a hummingbird feeder in Sidney, by resident Stan Coe. The photo has been flagged on the BC Rare Bird Alert website, stating the bird was visiting Coe’s property from Feb. 16 to March 17, but has not been seen again since. (Photo courtesy of Stan Coe)

Rare bird spotted visiting a backyard feeder in Sidney

Hooded 0rioles are generally found in hotter climates, local bird watcher says

You never know what kind of flying friend you might draw in, just by adding a touch of sweetness to your yard.

A rare bird was spotted visiting a feeder in Sidney by resident Stan Coe, who shared a photo with the Peninsula News Review.

The photo was published in the paper, and local birders quickly realized the bird had been misidentified as an American Goldfinch. Barbara Begg, a bird watcher from North Saanich, identified the bird as a rare hooded oriole.

“I think there’s been about 26 records of this bird in B.C., and certainly not many on the Island. I can think of about four or five around the Greater Victoria area,” said Begg. “I spoke with the fellow who took the photo, and went over to take a look, but did not see this particular one myself.”

The photo has been flagged on the BC Rare Bird Alert website, noting the bird was visiting Coe’s property from Feb. 16 to March 17, but has not been seen again since.

“A hooded oriole’s normal range is way down in extreme southwestern parts of the U.S. and Mexico,” said Begg. “Of course with global warming, temperatures are changing and I think more southern species are drifting northward. It happens all over Canada.”

Begg noted that birds who migrate are more likely to get turned around, and can sometimes lose their bearings and fly off course. Hooded orioles tend to breed in western parts of Nevada, California and Texas, and in the winter move to southern parts of Mexico.

READ ALSO: Gourmet products smoking good for Langford man’s PTSD

“The last time I saw a hooded oriole was in 1988,” said Begg, who has been studying birds for about 30 years.

The bird spotted in Sidney was likely a young male, said Bregg. She noted this by its black bib and the intensity of its feather colouring. Hooded orioles are bright orange, with black and white wings, and a black tail. The males are more likely to have a black patch of feathers below the beak.

The Bullock’s oriole, a relative to the hooded oriole, is more commonly found nesting on Vancouver Island. Begg said to tell the two species apart, there are a couple of subtle differences: Bullock’s have a black eye line that extends quite far out from their eyes, and hooded orioles have a more downward curved beak.

The best way to attract one of these birds to your yard, is to put out a hummingbird syrup feeder, or include flowers such as Red Hot Pokers in your garden, Bregg said.

“They mainly eat grubs and nectar from flowers, but will also eat the syrup mix in feeders,” she added.

To view more rare bird sightings in B.C., visit bcbirdalert.blogspot.com.

READ ALSO: Killer whales come close to shore in Nanaimo wild-coast spectacle


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bill Almond’s observatory in its new home on a Saanich lakeside. (Submitted/Cameron Burton)
Colwood stargazing dome makes a move to Saanich

The backyard structure finds a new home after 30 years

Chris Grzywacz, development agent for cannabis supplier Seed and Stone’s, holds products from the new Songhees Cannabis S + S store on April 20. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)
First cannabis store opens on Songhees Nation, creates economic opportunity says chief

The Songhees Cannabis S + S had a soft launch at its 1502 Admirals Road location on April 20

Steven Manchur, who lives near the proposed site of supportive housing in Central Saanich on Prosser Road, said the province has misinformed the public about the site. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Central Saanich residents protest supportive housing project

BC Housing rejects claim that project will lead to more crime

RCMP have appealed to the public for help identifying the man. (Black Press Media file image)
Police, dog unit called after man exposed himself at West Shore elementary school

West Shore RCMP credits students, aged 11 and 5, for seeking help

A convicted sex offender, whose crimes included offences against children, was arrested at Gonzales Beach after the man was spotted by an off-duty officer. (Black Press Media file photo)
Convicted sex offender arrested at Gonzales Beach

After committing crimes involving children, offender barred from public beaches, being in proximity to kids

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read