(953) Oriolus oriolus kundoo.
The Indian Oriole.
Oriolus kundoo Sykes, P. Z. S., 1832, p. 87 (Deccan, India); Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 504.
Vernacular names. Pilak (Kind.); Vanga-pandu (Tel.); Pauseh (Mahr.); Pashnool (Kashm.).
Description. - Adult male. Similar to the preceding race, but the black of the lores extends to behind the eye and the yellow colour is generally deeper and richer. The yellow on the tail-feathers is also greater in extent, the black on the outermost being merely confined to the base of the outer web.
Colours of soft parts as in the preceding bird.
Measurements. Wing 135 to 142 mm.: culmen 24 to 29 mm.
Female and Young birds differ from the male, as do those of the European birds.
Distribution. The Indian Oriole is found over the whole continent of India from Cape Comorin throughout the Himalayas as far North as Pskem, about 60 miles North-East of Tashkent. To the East, Calcutta is apparently the farthest point, a bird having been obtained there by myself. It is common in Behar and in Western Bengal but occasional only in Eastern Bengal.
Nidification. The Indian Golden Oriole appears to breed in May and June throughout its whole range, a few birds laying in April and in July and August. The nest is a deep pendent cup, very compactly made of soft grass and fibrous material, sometimes mixed with other odds and ends, such as leaves, scraps of cloth, etc. The materials are neatly wound round the twigs of the fork from which it is suspended and the lining, if any, consists of grass only. It may be placed on an outer branch of any kind of tree in orchard, garden, or roadside and, whilst generally it is between six and twenty feet from the ground, it may sometimes be found placed much higher still. The eggs number two to four, most often three. The ground-colour varies from white to the faintest cream, deeply-tinted eggs being very rare in this species. The spots consist of bold spots and small blotches of blackish rarely mixed with others of deep purplish or with specks and blotches of reddish brown. These are confined chiefly to the larger end and are sparse even there. In shape the eggs are typically long ovals and the surface has a fine gloss. One hundred eggs average 29.0 x 21.1 mm.: maxima 32.5 x 21.5 and 27.0 x 22.3 mm.; minima 25.0 X 19.6 mm.
Habits. The Indian Oriole is found from the level of the Plains all over India up to some 5,000 feet in the Himalayas, but apparently not much over 4,000 feet in Southern India. It deserts the Himalayas in Winter and does not then occur above 2,000 feet. It is a bird of gardens, orchards and open country and is not seen in forests. Its curious dipping flight and its beautiful call of pure loud melodious notes are familiar to every European in India. Its diet is chiefly fruit but it also eats freely insects of many kinds.