This is a yellow oriole, Icterus nigrogularis, at the National Aviary of Colombia.

Photograph by Joel Sartore National Geographic 
  • The yellow oriole (Icterus nigrogularis) is a common New World oriole found across a large part of northern South America and the southern Caribbean, ranging from Colombia to Brazil. Though unrelated, New World orioles are similar in size, shape, and coloration (often black and yellow or orange) to the Old World orioles, although Old World orioles can be bulkier. In fact, this species occasionally shares the name of “yellow oriole” with the green oriole, an Old World oriole common in Australia and New Guinea. 

     Little is known about this widespread bird, probably because it lives in tropical areas that can be difficult to reach. Because it lives across such a wide area, the yellow oriole most likely has a fairly significant population that is not thought to be a matter of concern, though scientists have not surveyed the population. However, continued habitat loss in the jungle may eventually present problems for the species.

    1. How are New World and Old World orioles similar? Are they the same thing?

      New World and Old World orioles share a common coloration (black and yellow or orange). 

    2. Why do we know so little about the yellow oriole?

      We know so little because the yellow oriole lives in hard-to-reach tropical areas, making it harder to study. Also, if scientists and researchers are not concerned with the population numbers of the yellow oriole, they are not making the extra effort to go out and study the bird.

    3. Why is the yellow oriole considered relatively safe, even though scientists have not properly surveyed the population size?

      The bird can be found over a massive range in South America and the Caribbean, which shows that there are a lot of the birds living in the wild.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    habitat loss Noun

    the reduction or destruction of an ecosystem, making it less able to support its native species.

    New World Noun

    the Western Hemisphere, made up of the Americas and their islands.

    Old World Noun

    the Eastern Hemisphere, especially Europe, Asia, and Africa.

    population Noun

    total number of people or organisms in a particular area.

    species Noun

    group of similar organisms that can reproduce with each other.