Golden Oriole

Eurasian Golden OrioleOriolus oriolus


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Oriolidae
  • Genre: Oriolus
  • Species: Oriolus oriolus

Identification characters

The male is yellow with black wings and tail. The female is greenish with green wings and tail.


The Eurasian Golden Oriole is a widespread summer visitor to Europe. It is only absent from the northern part of the continent. The species also nests from western Asia to Mongolia and China, India and northwest Africa. Apart from central India, where it may be sedentary, the species migrates to central and southern Africa, and populations in the Indian area move to winter in the southern peninsula. The European population ranges from 4,370,000 to 8,020,000 breeding pairs, representing more than half of the species’ global population. Between 1982 and 2013 the European population of the European tern was stable. The Romanian population of the barn owl is between 400,000 and 800,000 breeding pairs, with a decreasing trend.

Living environment and biology of the species

In Europe, the Eurasian Golden Oriole nests in a variety of habitats, but prefers riparian woodlands, open deciduous forests or even larger gardens. In the eastern part of Europe it can also live in more compact forests, mixed forests or coniferous forests. It avoids treeless areas, but can fly into such areas to feed. In wintering quarters it can be found in habitats such as semi-arid or wet forests, tall forests, mosaics of forest and savannah or savannah only.
It is a shy bird, always hiding in the foliage. Migration takes place at night. The maximum longevity reached is 14 years and eight months. It is a predominantly insectivorous species, but also feeds on cherries and other fruits. Prey is mainly foraged in treetops, but also in foliage or picked right off the ground. It can water from the air, like swallows. They return to their wintering quarters in May-June.

The nest is built by the female and is similar to a hammock. The nest is cup-shaped and is constructed of materials such as reed moss, grass, moss, pieces of cloth, paper, tree bark, lichen, etc. On the inside it is lined with feathers or wool and horsehair, when available. The female lays a clutch of 2-5 white eggs with reddish-brown splashes. Incubation lasts 16-18 days. The chicks fly from the nest after the parents feed them intensively for 17-18 days. Egg incubation is mainly carried out by the female, sometimes replaced by the male. After leaving the nest, they stay with the adults for another 10-14 days. A pair lays one clutch in a breeding season.

Threats and conservation measures

Threats identified are habitat fragmentation and loss, and pollution. Conservation measures are recommended: Matching forestry work to the biology of the species to avoid disturbance during critical periods, maintaining a mosaic of habitats with the presence of tree and shrub patches in open agricultural areas, maintaining and accentuating corridors between areas of spontaneous grassland including trees, tree lines and scattered non-productive tree groups, conservation of forests in the vicinity of aquatic habitats, reduction of insecticide and herbicide use in agriculture and forestry, prevention of bush and forest fires. An inventory of breeding, migration, foraging and aggregation areas important for the conservation of the species is needed. It is also useful to promote studies on the biology of the species.


  • Fântână Ciprian, Kovács Istvan, Benkő Zoltán, Daròczi Szilárd, Domșa Cristian, Veres-Szászka Judit (editors), 2022, Atlas of bird species of community interest in Romania, 2nd edition – Love birds, save nature!, Project financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Large Infrastructure Operational Programme 2014-2020, Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests – Biodiversity Directorate, scientific coordination Romanian Ornithological Society and Association for the Protection of Birds and Nature Milvus Group, produced by EXCLUS PROD SRL, p. 540.
    Radu Dimitrie, 1983, Small Ornithological Atlas – Birds of the World, Albatros Publishing House, Bucharest, p. 244.
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