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Elevation and Oriole Habitat

Naturalist Carrol Henderson has visited Costa Rica for years. He has observed varying numbers of Orioles in various habitat types and elevation zones:

# Sightings




Above 10,500'

Subalpine/Rain Paramo



Montane/Wet or Rain


4,200'- 7,800'

Lower Montane (includes cloud forest)


1,800'- 4,500'

Subtropical (Pre-montane) Forests


Sea level to 1,800'

Tropical (Lowland) Forests

These observations are important. They remind us that even a generalist bird like the oriole has habitat needs and preferences on the wintering grounds. When certain types of forest are cleared for human use, the birds that depend on that forest type will be affected. People in tropical countries burn or clear the low-elevation forests first, and now forests at higher and higher elevations are being cleared as human populations grow.

According to Henderson's records, what type of habitat type do orioles seem to prefer? What might be some results if the preferred habitat disappears?


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