Frequently Asked Questions
Students Ask and Experts Answer
Contributed by Ornithology Expert Laura Erickson
Ways to use in the Classroom


  • size
  • weight
  • body systems
  • physiology
  • senses
  • other physical characteristics
  • communication

Life Cycle

  • longevity
  • birth and growth
  • reproduction and young
  • heredity
  • parenting behavior


  • habitat and range
  • niche
  • food
  • enemies
  • adaptations
  • migration
  • populations
  • distribution
  • ecosystems


  • threats/human impacts
  • habitat loss
  • conservation status
  • historic population size
  • conservation efforts, etc.


Q.How did Baltimore and Bullock's orioles get their names?

Q. What are the Baltimore oriole and Bullock's oriole's scientific names and how are they classified?

Q. How big are Orioles?

Q. What color are orioles?

Q. The oriole is the state bird for what U.S. state?

Q. Can you teach an oriole to talk?

Life Cycle

Q. What does an oriole nest look like?

Q. When do orioles molt?

Q. Which oriole weaves a nest of palm fibers and sews it to the underside of palm leaves?


Q. Where do orioles live in winter?

Q. Where do orioles live in summer?

Q. What does "neotropical migrants" mean?

Q. When the time comes to migrate and an oriole has eggs that haven't hatched yet, what do the orioles do? Do they leave their eggs or do they stay with them and not migrate that year?

Q. How long does it take the average oriole to get ready to migrate?

Q. How do orioles prepare for migration?

Q. How long does it take the average oriole to migrate?

Q. How do birds have the energy to fly the long distances of migration?

Q. What do orioles feed on?

Q. Do orioles establish territories while in the tropics?

Q. Why are oriole flocks in the tropics so large?

Q. What habitat do orioles prefer in winter?

Q. Does leaf-out have anything to do with the timing of spring migration?

Q. How do orioles know when it's time to leave the tropics and return north in spring?

Q. Do orioles migrate during the day or at night?

Q. Why do orioles migrate at night?

Q. How do birds sense whether good or bad migration conditions might be coming?

Q. Why do orioles fly over the Gulf of Mexico instead of going around it?

Q. How long does it take birds to cross the Gulf of Mexico?

Q. Why do orioles push northward during a single week in late April/early May, when hummingbirds move northward so gradually, for 8-10 weeks from March to mid-May?

Q. Do ALL orioles migrate in the fall?

Q. When did people first notice wintering orioles that didn't go south?

Q. How is migration affected by weather?

Q. What is a "fallout?"

Q. What are some dangers faced by neotropical migratory songbirds?


Q. How can I help orioles in my back yard?

Q. How can I help orioles during migration?

Q. What do people feed orioles that don't migrate to the tropics?