Oriole bird: description, features and habitat
The oriole bird is the most beautiful representative among numerous forest birds. In size, it is slightly larger than the starling. Males are distinguished by a beautiful bright yellow plumage of the majority of the body, wings and a black tail. The color of the female is less bright and unremarkable.
The relatively small bird Oriole (the photo is presented in the article), whose dimensions are slightly smaller than the starling, has a total of only 44 winged feathers. Due to this, the bird is able to fly very quickly. Other representatives of feathery feathers are few, but the coverslips lining the body have much more.
origin of name
On the origin of the scientific name Oriolus there are two versions. According to one of them, it originated from the word aureolus (translated from Latin as “golden”), which was then transformed into the word oriol in old French. Presumably, in this way he began to emphasize a bright yellow color, not quite typical for Europe. According to the second version, the name of the bird imitates the melodious singing of the oriole.
According to linguists, the name "Oriole" has Slavic roots and is single-root with the words "moisture" and "vologa". There are suggestions that in ancient times this bird was the forerunner of rain.
The oriole bird is widespread in the forests of southern and central Europe, in northwestern Africa, and in the western part of Asia. For wintering, these birds migrate to South Africa, India and the island of Madagascar. In Europe, the oriole breeds mostly in Finland, in Sweden, and in the European part of Russia. On the islands of Britain is found only in the eastern part. Some individual pairs nest on the island of Madeira and the Azores. The nesting area in Asia is represented by the western part of its territory up to the valley of the Yenisei River, Central Asia and the mountainous regions of Southern Siberia. Also, these birds are chosen by the lower reaches of the Ganges in India and Bangladesh.
The oriole prefers mixed and deciduous forests and groves. Also, birds can settle in parks near people, but always in the dense crown of trees. Despite the fairly bright plumage, the bird is almost impossible to see, as it shelters high in the tree crown among the foliage.Likes the oriole tall light forests: willow, birch, poplar. In more arid regions, it can settle in river valleys, in tugai thickets.
The Oriole is avoiding taiga and shaded forests, but quite willingly settles in parks and gardens, as well as in forest plantations along roads. In areas of the foothills, it can nest in places where the altitude reaches 2000 meters, and on flights it can occur even higher - up to 2700 meters.
The Oriole bird is slightly larger than the starling. Its body length is 25 centimeters, wingspan is 45 cm, body weight - up to 90 g. Orioles' body build is slim, with slightly elongated body and wings. Strong enough shortish legs. The long beak is strong and slightly curved.
Especially in terms of its external distinctive features, an adult male is recognized due to its bright contrasting color. As noted above, it has a bright yellow body with wings, bridle and black tail. The edges of the tail are decorated with yellow spots. The beak and iris are red, and the legs are greyish.
The female and the young male of the first year on top of the body have yellowish-green plumage, from the bottom - whitish-yellow with longitudinal dark specks. And their wings are not black, but dark.Sometimes there are females painted in bright colors, like males.
In flight, the Oriole clearly shows its pointed wings and a contrasting bright tail pattern. In females, a yellow uppertail is also distinguished.
Lifestyles and habits
What kind of bird is the oriole in terms of behavior and lifestyle? The bird is more active during the day. By nature, it is secretive and usually hides in the canopy of trees. Sometimes poses his voice. Bird flying over from branch to branch is more noticeable than sitting in the foliage.
At the end of spring or at the beginning of summer, the Orioles arrive at nesting sites, which they notify the neighborhood with their singing, resembling the sounds of a flute. They build nests in the form of baskets and place them in the uppermost part of the oak or birch crown. Sometimes they are arranged in a pine crown.
Usually, the female lays up to 5 eggs, painted white with rare black dots. She hatches them for about 14 days. Chicks are fed by both parents, very often flying up to the nest (approximately 200 times a day). The diet of newborns includes insects and spiders. And after the chicks leave the parental nest (approximately 17 days), the parents continue to carefully and carefully take care of them, feeding and protecting them from various predators.
Already by the end of the summer, the grown-up young individuals, along with more adult ones, include in their diet vegetable fodder - ripened fruits and berries.
Orioles bird diets are animal and vegetable foods. During the breeding season, it mainly feeds on tree insects, especially caterpillars (even hairy ones). Also the Orioles are eaten:
- wood beetles;
- bed bugs;
- leaf beetles;
- barbel beetles;
- weevils and other insects.
They catch some spiders.
They are even able to ruin the nests of small birds, such as the gray flycatcher and the redstart. Ripe fruits and berries eagerly eat:
- sweet cherry
- bird cherry;
- figs, etc.
Usually, food intake occurs in the early morning, a little less often - after 15 hours.
The song of the Oriole bird is a beautiful flute phrase in the form of a whistle - “fiu-liu”, “fi-liu-li”. Also, sometimes you can hear illegible and silent twitter and squeaks.
Contact signal or alarm signal - nasal short sound or mews. The latter is comparable to the sharp cry of the cat, pinching its tail.
It is known that many birds of prey hunt these birds: the sparrow hawk, the Eleonora falcon, the ashen and Mediterranean falcons, the dwarf eagle, the common kestrel, the red and black kites and others.
Orioles are considered to be useful birds for forestry. They eat many insect pests, including hairy caterpillars, which are avoided by other species of birds.