Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Black-headed Oriole - Maree

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.



  1. He looks like a beautiful bird … love that red eye.

    1. Thank you Elva. That red eye is evident from quite a distance!


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