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The golden oriole is a bird indigenous to England and Asia. Known for its bright yellow feathers and high, melodic, flute like whistle, it spends summer months, typically May through August, in Europe and western Asia. The bird usually winters the remaining months in tropical climates. The flight pattern of the golden oriole is direct, with gradual undulations of movement, much like the flight pattern of a thrush.
The golden oriole prefers to breed in large poplar groves and among other deciduous trees close to water. They feed primarily on insects and fruit. The birds spend the majority of their time in the upper tree canopies.
The male of the species may be recognized by its bright yellow plumage and striking black wings. Some types of oriole have white as well, streaked through their feathers and along their breasts. Female orioles are generally a dull green in color. The golden oriole specifically has streaks of gold in both its wing and tail feathers, unlike other versions of the species.
This type of bird is generally very shy. This can aid them in their natural ability to avoid observation. Their small size and camouflage-like coloring usually make them difficult to see in the dappled light of the tree canopies in which they live.
These birds make their nests in tree tops. They create a hanging-basket type of home, using twigs, branches, and other tree matter. The golden oriole generally lays three eggs, and leaves the female to protect the eggs and nest. Eggs are typically white with black speckles. Baby and juvenile orioles do not have the bright coloring of their parents, and are typically a mottled brown and white color. Both the female and male of the species work together to feed the baby orioles and protect the nest.
The African golden oriole is also a member of the oriole family, indigenous to the southern Saharan regions of Africa. It appears similar in color to the European and Asian versions, with the males colored bright yellow with black wings, and the females a dark green. African orioles contain slightly less black along their wings than the European varieties, with this color limited only to the flight portions of the wing. The African birds live in thick bush and other wooded areas.
The bird is named for the sound that it makes when it sings. Their call sounds like ooohr – iii – ole. This onomatopoetic name was given to them by Albertus Magnus in 1250.