Q. Since migration is such a hard journey, why does the Oriole make it every year? I would think that Costa Rica would have what the Oriole needs to raise its young. Each year I am amazed when I see this beautiful bird in my yard.
A. Excellent question and an astute observation! You are quite right, Costa Rica does have what orioles need to raise their young. That's part of the problem...Costa Rica and other Latin American countries have what MANY birds need to raise their young.
This means there is a lot of competition for resources (food, nest sites, etc.).
All those birds, eggs, and nestlings also means that there are many predators around.
Thus, it is better for orioles, as well as many other songbirds, to fly north to
take advantage of the fewer competitors, fewer predators, and the summer abundance
of insects. Once nesting is over and food supplies decline in the fall, then the
birds fly back to the tropics to spend the winter.
Dr. David Aborn
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