Fun Bullock’s Oriole Facts For Kids

Christian Mba
May 02, 2023 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Bullock’s Oriole facts about a bird that loves hanging upside down from tree branches.

If you hear that beautiful song of the bird in the open woodlands of North America in summer, then look around to find this bright orange, a small black songbird with a white wing patch hopping from branch to branch in the trees. Then you can be sure to call the bird the Bullock’s oriole.

This is the Bullock’s oriole (Icterus bullockii) is a similar species to the Baltimore oriole (Northern oriole) whose range overlaps. They are of the order Passeriformes, family Icteridae, the New World blackbirds.

The male birds are brighter than the females in this species. They have unique gourd-shaped hanging nests 10-25 ft (3-7.6 m) above the ground.

They are migratory birds, and after the breeding season, Bullock’s oriole winter away from the breeding grounds in the eastern foothills of the Cascade range to western Mexico. The arrival of these birds symbolizes hope and a new start for the people of North America.

If you like this article, check out our Blackburnian warbler and blue tit facts too.

Bullock’s Oriole Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Bullock’s Oriole?

Bullock’s Orioles are known as the nimble canopy-gleaners of open woodlands. These are known as the New World birds. Their range overlaps with that of the Baltimore Orioles frequently.

What class of animal does a Bullock’s Oriole belong to?

The Bullock’s oriole (Icterus bullockii) belongs to the Aves class. They are of the order Passeriformes, family Icteridae, all New World blackbirds. The two North American birds Bullock’s Oriole and Baltimore oriole, are similar species.

How many Bullock’s Orioles are there in the world?

The exact count of Bullock’s Orioles is not available. But from what is known about these birds, they are found in abundance in their natural habitat. Therefore, the IUCN Red List status of this bird is Least Concern.

Where does a Bullock’s Oriole live?

The Bullock’s oriole is endemic to western North America. During the mating season, they are found in the eastern foothills of the Cascade range, and in winter, they are found in Mexico. Few birds stick to southern coastal California and do not migrate at all.

What is a Bullock’s Oriole’s habitat?

The Bullock’s oriole is found in the arid west, riparian open woodlands. The habitat of these bird species is along the forested streamsides in the canopy of deciduous trees. Hardwood trees, cottonwood trees, willows, and oaks are their favorite. One can find them in wetlands, orchards, farms, and also suburban areas with suitable trees for their nesting.

Who do Bullock’s Orioles live with?

The Bullock’s orioles flock in small groups while migrating. They build their nests in close vicinity. These birds prefer to be on their own and love their solidarity while foraging in the foliage. Their range overlaps with that of the Baltimore Orioles (Northern Oriole).

How long does a Bullock’s Oriole live?

The data on the exact lifespan of a Bullock’s Oriole is not available. But from a recent study, the oldest on the record bird was eight years and 11 months when it was captured and re-released in Colorado.

How do they reproduce?

Bullock’s Orioles reproduce by sexual reproduction. They are monogamous birds but for only one breeding season.

The male attracts a female with songs of his own, and if the female is willing, she reciprocates. Once a pair is formed, the female selects the nesting site, and both build the hanging Bullock’s oriole nest with twine, hair, grass, feathers, and other such materials. The female lays three to six eggs per brood.

The female incubates the eggs, and both the male and female participate in rearing the young ones. Eggs hatch in about 11 days, and the fledglings stick around the nest for another two weeks before taking a flight.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN Red List, the conservation status of Bullock’s Oriole (Icterus bullockii) is Least Concern. The North American birds are found in abundance in their habitat, and there is no major threat to their population. Of course, they are losing their habitat because of human activities, but at present, it is not a thing to worry about.

Bullock’s Oriole Fun Facts

What do Bullock’s Orioles look like?

The Bullock’s oriole is a small songbird. It has a medium-sized tail and a sharp bill. The bird looks strikingly beautiful and has a bright orange underside with a black throat and black upper plumage. The black wing of this bird has a contrasting large white wing patch.

In addition, there is a black line across the eye. The adult male is brighter than the female birds. In comparison, an immature male resembles the female Bullock’s oriole.

How cute are they?

The Bullock’s oriole is a cute little songbird. The birds show dimorphism. The adult male is brighter, and a female exhibits duller but wonderful color variations similar to an immature male. The call or the song of the bird attracts the onlookers. The nests are again a spectacular piece of work by these wonderful birds.

How do they communicate?

The Bullock’s oriole is among the songbird species, and they use vocal cues to communicate. The adult males have a softer voice than the contrasting pitched song of a female that is a prolific singer.

In general, the songs are musical and lively, like a long sweet whistle. They have distinguished courtship displays by fluttering their wings and hopping from branch to branch on trees. In case of danger, they give out sharp, repetitive chucks.

How big is a Bullock’s Oriole?

An adult Bullock’s oriole is a small new world bird. It has a body length of 6.7-7.5 in (17-19 cm). Their wingspan is about 12.2 in (31 cm). Males are brighter and comparatively larger than females.

How fast can a Bullock’s Oriole fly?

The data on the speed at which a Bullock’s Oriole flies is not available. However, their flight is said to be direct and strong. During migration, they flock in small groups. Most of the time they are seen hanging upside down from tree branches. They generally hop from branch to branch probing for nectar and insects.

How much does a Bullock’s Oriole weigh?

The adult Bullock’s oriole is a small bird that weighs between 1-1.5 oz (29-43 g). These are small birds that are found hanging upside down from tree branches. Even their nests are like hanging gourd-shaped baskets.

What are the male and female names of the species?

No specific names are given to the Bullock’s Oriole species based on their gender and are just called Bullock’s oriole, female and male. But a group of these birds, in general, are called split or pitch.

What would you call a baby Bullock’s Oriole?

Again there is no specific term for a baby Bullock’s Oriole. After coming out of the egg, the juvenile is called hatching. And as it grows, it’s called nestling and fledgling depending on the stages of its development until it grows into an adult bird.

What do they eat?

The main diet of these bird species includes insects and arthropods as well as fruits and nectar. They use the method of gaping to extract the juices out of fruits or their prey.

By thrusting their bills into the prey’s skin, they lap up the juices with their tongues. They indulge in eating any small insects in their vicinity like grasshoppers, wasps, beetles, ants, and other bugs.

They take nectar from agaves, eucalyptus, and other flowers. They also eat fruits or extract fruit juices from blackberries, raspberries, cherries, and figs.

Are they dangerous?

No, the Bullock’s Oriole is not a dangerous species. They are very small and harmless songbirds that hop from branch to branch. But yes, they can be dangerous to the insects like the thick-skinned caterpillar, which they hit on the branch repeatedly before consuming.

Would they make a good pet?

They are small migratory songbirds that nest in the canopy of trees. They are not taken in as pets. But you can attract these birds to the backyards by placing special feeders as they need special nectar jelly and oranges. They are also seen attracted to hummingbird feeders but not the general birdseed feeders.

Did you know...

The Bullock’s oriole is one of the bird species that identify their eggs. They push away and break the eggs laid by parasitic birds in their range like the Cowbirds from their nests.

Bullock’s Orioles gets their name after William Bullock, an English amateur naturalist.

What do Bullock’s Orioles sound like?

Bullock’s orioles are songbirds, and the Bullock’s oriole song sounds like pure whistling tones. The flutelike tones are full and rich. Sometimes the song is long, and at other times, it consists of paired notes in short series repeated repeatedly.

What do Bullock’s Orioles symbolize?

The North American Bullock’s Oriole species symbolizes hope and a new start. For many, the arrival of these tiny birds brings freshness and change. However, few people believe that they represent things of the nether world.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our belted kingfisher fun facts, and blue jay interesting facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Bullock’s oriole coloring pages.

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba picture

Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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