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© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki, M. & W. von Wright (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland). Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Golden Oriole

Oriolus oriolus

  • Name also: Eurasian Golden Oriole
  • Family: Orioles – Oriolidae
  • Appearance: Exotically coloured Starling-sized birds. Males are bright yellow and black, females and juveniles have greenish upperparts and pale underparts. Yellow rump and spots on tail tip distinctive on birds in all plumages.
  • Size: Length 22–25 cm, weight 68–84 g.
  • Nest: Basket shaped nest built on a horizontal bough. Made of grass, birch bark fragments, spiders’ webs and beard lichen.
  • Breeding: 3–5 eggs laid May–June, incubated by female for 15–18 days. Fledglings remain in nest for 14– 16 days.
  • Distribution: Breeds in well-lit forests near water in Southern Finland. Most common in SE Finland. Has declined recently. Finnish population estimated at 2,000–3,000 pairs.
  • Migration: Migrates by day, leaving Finland in August and returning in May or June after wintering in Tropical East Africa.
  • Diet: Invertebrates.
  • Calls: Warning call a harsh Jay-like screech. Song a loud flute-like whistle “hoo-ee-hoo-ee-oo”.
  • Endangerment: Endangered, protected. Globally Least concern.

Golden Orioles are brightly coloured birds, about as large as a Starling or a small thrush. Males are mainly bright yellow with black wings and tail and a red beak. Females have yellowish green upperparts, and pale greyish white underparts with dark streaks. They only have bright yellow colouring on their vents. Golden Orioles have bluish grey legs, dark red beaks and bright red irises. The beaks and irises of young females are browner.

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