National Geographic : 1956 Feb
264 National Geographic Photographer B. Anthony Stewart Florida's New Oriole and Central America's Show Identical Spots Dr. Alexander Wetmore (right) holds an accident-killed Miami bird and compares it with mid-American specimens at the National Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C. Allen J. Duvall (left), of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, consulted Dr. Wetmore for the proper identification. to observe their further spread with the pas sage of years in their new-found home. These orioles can be readily identified by means of the striking color close-up on page 260. Young individuals lack the breast spots, which do not appear until the birds have reached maturity. The orange-yellow crown distinguishes young and old from the Balti more and Orchard Orioles. In glorious displays of flame-orange and black, the birds stand out briefly against the luxuriant green of south Florida's subtropical foliage. Then, after melting from sight mo mentarily, they reappear, working their way rapidly among the branches as they probe for food. Typically, they soon burst from the treetop with strong, blithe, clear whistles, flashing against the sky on their way to an other feeding place. "Incomparably beautiful" is the description of the song of the Spotted-breasted Oriole by Alexander F. Skutch in his book, Life His tories of Central American Birds. He calls it "a series of the clearest, most mellifluous whistles possible, blended into a continuous liquid stream of melody." Indeed, the exotic newcomer is a boon to the ear as well as to the eye.