Baltimore Orioles also seem to be quite fond of buckeye flower nectar. At least two males (differing in the amount of black on their heads) and two females (differing in their orange-ness, which is a sign of their age) have been constant visitors to the buckeye tree for the past few days.
Like the Tennessee Warblers, they contort their body around or hang from the flowers heads to probe every flower for the nectar at its base.
Zooming in a little closer I could see the oriole probe the flower parallel to its axis to reach the nectar.
But occasionally the oriole used a different technique and inserted its slightly open bill perpendicular to the flower right above the nectar pool.
Orioles eat a variety of foods, but prefer fruits and nectar in the spring and fall, when the demand for quick energy and rapid fat storage is high. More insects and spiders are eaten during the summer when they are raising young or molting new feathers.
It was a cold, rainy day, and this guy looks a little bedraggled from getting wet. I think the brown specks on his face are the anthers of the buckeye flowers. Orioles are probably not a desirable pollinator for these flowers, if they break off entire pollen-bearing structures. Usually there is a swarm of bees and wasps on this tree, but it’s too cold for that today.