Eurasian Golden Oriole

Eurasian Golden Oriole
Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus, Xinjiang, May. (Craig Brelsford)

Huge range of Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus extends from Portugal to Tianshan and Altai Mountains in Xinjiang, where it is a locally common breeder. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Secretive, but highly vocal in breeding season; keeps to canopy, feeding on insects and fruit. ID & COMPARISON Very much like Indian Golden Oriole O. kundoo. Eurasian and Indian similarly patterned, with male having striking lemon-yellow body feathers (including head) and mainly black wings and central tail. Rest of tail yellow; tips of tertials and secondaries and distinct carpal patch are also yellow. Carpal patch is smaller than Indian. Black lore barely extends behind eye. BARE PARTS Bill thick, pink, but Eurasian’s bill generally darker than Indian’s. Female drabber and greener than male, with streaking on yellowish to whitish underparts; streaking crisper in Indian. Juvenile streaked on whitish underparts; upperparts greenish. BARE PARTS Feet grey; iris red in adults, dark in immatures. VOICE Call and song distinctive. Grating, nasal, jay-like call contrasts sharply with beautiful, fluty, liquid song. — Craig Brelsford

THE ORIOLES OF CHINA covers all seven members of Oriolidae in China. Click any link:

Maroon Oriole Oriolus traillii
Silver Oriole O. mellianus
Black-hooded Oriole O. xanthornus
Indian Golden Oriole O. kundoo
Eurasian Golden Oriole O. oriolus
Black-naped Oriole O. chinensis
Slender-billed Oriole O. tenuirostris


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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