The Golden Oriole, Oriolus
oriolus, is the only member of the oriole family of passerine
birds to breed in northern hemisphere temperate regions. It is
a summer migrant to Europe and western Asia, wintering in the
tropics. It is a bird of tall deciduous trees in woodland, orchards
or parks. The tiny British population breeds in commercial Black
poplar plantations. The neat nest is built in a fork in a tree,
and contains 3-6 eggs. The food is insects and fruit, found in
the tree canopies where the orioles spend much of their time.
The male is striking in the typical oriole black and yellow plumage,
but the female is a drabber green bird. Orioles are shy, and even
the male is remarkably difficult to see in the dappled yellow
and green leaves of the canopy. The flight is somewhat like a
thrush, strong and direct with some shallow dips over longer distances.
The call is a
screech like a jay, but the song is a beautiful fluting weela-wee-ooo
or or-iii-ole, unmistakable once heard. The name "oriole"
was first recorded (in the Latin form oriolus) by Albertus Magnus
in about 1250, and was stated by him to be onomatopoeic, from
the song of the Golden Oriole. The New World orioles are similar
in appearance to the Oriolidae, but are icterids unrelated to
the Old World birds.
From The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service