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

Life Cycle

Q. What does an oriole nest look like?

Orioles are master weavers. Their nests hang from high limbs, usually near the outer tip, like a hammock or pouch.

Q. When do orioles molt?

Baltimore orioles molt their feathers once a year, right after breeding in the summer and early fall, before they migrate. Bullock's orioles molt their feathers once a year, usually during fall migration.

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

The hooded oriole, which lives in the southwestern states and parts of Mexico, is an ingenious engineer. It strips the fibers from the leaves of the Washingtonia fan palms commonly used for landscaping. By sewing the nest to the underside of the leaves it gives its nest both shade and protection from the rain.