Black-hooded Orioles, Oriolus xanthornus

The Black-hooded Oriole (Oriolus xanthornus) is a resident breeder in tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to Indonesia, where they inhabit woodland and cultivation.

Description

The male is striking, with the typical oriole black and yellow coloration. The plumage is predominantly yellow, with a solid black hood, and black also in the wings and tail centre.

The female Black-hooded Oriole is a drabber bird with greenish underparts, but still has the black hood. Young birds are like the female, but have dark streaking on the underparts, and their hood is not solidly black, especially on the throat.

The black head of this species is an obvious distinction from Golden Oriole, Oriolus oriolus, which is a summer visitor to northern India. Orioles can be shy, and even the male may be difficult to see in the dappled yellow and green leaves of the canopy.

The Black-hooded Oriole’s flight is somewhat like a thrush, strong and direct with some shallow dips over longer distances.

The New World orioles are similar in appearance to the Oriolidae, but are icterids unrelated to the Old World birds.

Nesting / Breeding

The nest is built in a tree, and contains two eggs.

Diet / Feeding

The food is insects and fruit, especially figs, found in the tree canopies where the orioles spend much of their time.