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Eurasian golden oriole

Oriolus oriolus

Photo: Eurasian golden oriole
Weights and measures
Weight from 50 to 80 g
Wingspan from 14 to 16 cm
Animal description
The Eurasian golden oriole, scientifically known as Oriolus oriolus, is a strikingly beautiful bird that graces various parts of Europe, Asia, and even parts of North Africa with its presence. This species is part of the oriole family, known for their vibrant plumage and melodious songs. The Eurasian golden oriole, in particular, is celebrated for its vivid yellow and black coloration, as well as its sweet, flute-like calls that resonate through the forests during the breeding season.

Adult males of the species boast a brilliant golden-yellow body contrasted sharply by black wings and tail. The intensity of the yellow can vary slightly among individuals but is consistently bright and eye-catching. Females and juveniles, on the other hand, display a more subdued color palette. Their upper parts are greenish, while the underparts are a paler yellow, providing them with excellent camouflage among the foliage.

Eurasian golden orioles have a body length of approximately 23 to 24.5 centimeters (9 to 9.6 inches) and a wingspan that ranges from 44 to 47 centimeters (17 to 18.5 inches). Their size and shape are somewhat similar to that of a thrush, but their longer tails and sleek bodies give them a distinctive silhouette.

These birds are migratory, spending the breeding season in temperate regions across Europe and Western Asia and then wintering in sub-Saharan Africa. They prefer deciduous forests, particularly those with a high canopy and dense foliage, which provides ample cover and feeding opportunities. Their diet is varied, consisting primarily of insects during the breeding season, including caterpillars, beetles, and flies. They are also known to consume fruits, berries, and nectar, making them important pollinators and seed dispersers in their ecosystems.

The breeding habits of the Eurasian golden oriole involve elaborate courtship displays, with males performing intricate songs and flight displays to attract mates. They are monogamous during the breeding season, with pairs jointly defending their territory. Nests are artfully constructed by the female, who weaves a basket-like structure suspended from the branches of a tree. Typically, the female lays 3 to 6 eggs, which she incubates for about two weeks. Both parents are involved in feeding the chicks, which fledge approximately two weeks after hatching.

Despite their bright coloring, Eurasian golden orioles are elusive and can be difficult to spot in their natural habitat. Their greenish-yellow plumage blends surprisingly well with the leaves and sunlight filtering through the tree canopy, and they tend to remain high in the trees, hidden among the foliage.

The Eurasian golden oriole's song is perhaps its most remarkable feature, consisting of a series of melodious whistles that are both clear and fluted. These calls are often heard at dawn and dusk and are considered one of the quintessential sounds of the European and Asian woodlands during the summer months.

In terms of conservation status, the Eurasian golden oriole is currently listed as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), indicating that it is not at immediate risk of widespread decline. However, like many species, it faces threats from habitat destruction, climate change, and other environmental pressures. Conservation efforts aimed at preserving their natural habitats and migratory corridors are essential to ensure that these beautiful birds continue to thrive in their wide range across the globe.
Map of occurrence
Photo: Eurasian golden oriole - occurrence
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