W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm
The Black-headed Oriole (Oriolus larvatus) is a frequent visitor to my garden (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa) and I’m always thrilled to hear his liquid call, upon which I rush out to refill the oranges and apples, which seem to be his favourite fruit.
The Black-headed oriole is common and widespread, occurring throughout sub-Saharan Africa, from East Africa to southern Africa. It is quite adaptable, occupying a variety of habitats, including savannah, woodland, parks, farmland and gardens. It eats a variety of invertebrates, fruit and seeds, often foraging in mixed species flocks in the tree canopy. The nest is a deep cup of woven old-man’s beard strands, moss and grass, placed between stems of a fork in a slender tree branch. It is usually placed between the stems of a fork in a horizontal branch, often far from the main tree trunk, usually 6-9 metres above ground.
Bright yellow in colour with black head and black flight feathers, it has a flesh-coloured beak and grey feet. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Golden Oriole is bright yellow with black wings.