Oriole Again

There are at least two Baltimore Orioles over-wintering in Green-Wood.
This one was spotted in a big yew, gobbling up the…. well, they look like fruits, but yews are gymnosperms, so they’re actually seed cones cupped by fleshy red arils. The cone is poisonous; the edible part is the aril.
So each prize must be beak-worried…
…and the cone worked out.

Taxus baccata is native to northern Europe. You may therefore not be surprised to discover that some birds there can and will eat the seeds.

3 Responses to “Oriole Again”

  1. 1 Joan Martorano February 1, 2022 at 8:54 am

    Now do op-boppa-buzzards!

  2. 2 Christopher Enright February 1, 2022 at 9:37 am

    Great sequence. I heard one of them the other day and caught a quick glimpse. Pretty strange to have them here in January! But I suppose we’ll see more and more of this type of out of range overwintering as climate change keeps rambling along unchecked.

  3. 3 Charles McAlexander February 1, 2022 at 5:53 pm

    Birds eat all sorts of poisonous(to humans) things. Pokeweed berries and poison ivy fruits come to mind. Is the cone of this Yew poisonous to birds or just humans? Could the aril be harvested and consumed by humans? Gingko has to be processed before it is consumed, so this is nothing new.

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