Common Birds of India

Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus)


Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus)


-Ragoo Rao



I have chosen the Golden Oriole for this month's feature.


Now the season is on for all the Ficus trees to bear fruits. The Peepul, Banyan, Indian fig and a variety of other trees will also be bearing berries. This is the time of the year to watch and study a Bright golden yellow bird with black wing tips and a black streak  on the eyes foraging the feast of fig and other fruits. This is the Golden Oriole, a myna sized bird with beautiful coloration. They are found either singly or in pairs. The female is less yellowish with a tinge of green mixed.


The Golden oriole's typical habitat is well wooded places in rural areas on the fringes of villages and they are also found in urban parks with lot of berry bearing trees. Distribution is throughout the country except in the North-east. The flight is unmistakable, with a flash of yellow color dipping closely to the underside of the trees.


The call is a harsh cheeah....and a very musical....peee....peeolo . The bird is a farmer’s friend as it forages on a lot of insects also. Flower nectar is something the Golden oriole does not like to miss. Sometimes when these bright yellow birds are sipping nectar sitting on bright red flower bunches, it is a wonderful sight to see. The contrast in color is so good, it makes for a marvelous photograph. These birds are very wary and it takes a lot of patience to observe their behavior, as they take off a dipping flight at the slightest intrusion.

Nesting season is mainly from April to July. A meticulously woven cup of dried grass blades and plant fibre laced with cob-webs hanging from a forked twig, like a hammock is built by both the parents. It selects leafy trees at a height of 15 to 30 ft. in well-wooded areas.2 to 3 white eggs spotted with black or reddish brown. Both the parents share all domestic chores.


A marvelous bird with excellent coloration and a real friend of the farmer is the Golden Oriole.



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