Oriolus kundop, Sykes.
470. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 107; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 474; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 403 ; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 137 ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India ; Ibis, 1885, p. 68.
THE INDIAN ORIOLE.
Length, 9.5 to 10 ; expanse, 15 to 16; wing, 5.5 to 5.7 ; tail, 3.5 to 3.75; tarsus, 0.8 to 0.9; bill at front, 1.0; bill at gape, 1.25.
Bill deep lake-red; irides rich blood-red ; legs plumbeous.
Male, bright-yellow; a black stripe from the base of the bill through the eyes for a short distance beyond ; wings black, with a yellow bar formed by the primary coverts and the tips and outer edges of the quills ; tail with the central feathers black; the next pair black with a broad yellow tip, and the others black at the base, and yellow for the greater part of their terminal length.
The adult female differs from the male in a slightly greenish tint above.
The young bird is yellowish-green above ; the rump, vent, the inner webs of the tail-feathers at their tips, and the sides of the abdomen, bright-yellow; wings olive-brown ; body beneath whitish, with brown stripes; bill black.
The Indian Oriole occurs generally throughout the district, but is less common in Sind than elsewhere. On the higher ranges it is replaced by O. melanocephalus.
It is a permanent resident and breeds during May and June. It seems to have a preference for neem trees, as most of the nests I have seen have been built on these. It chooses a fork at the extremity of a slender bough, and between the twigs forming the fork it constructs a purse-like nest, composed of grass stems and roots, vegetable fibre, pieces of rag, &c, all firmly bound at its upper edges to the fork between which it is suspended. The eggs, usually three in number, are moderately long ovals, pure glossy china-white in colour with dark-claret or nearly black specks, spots or blotches, chiefly at the larger end. They vary greatly both in size and shape, but the average is 1.1 inch in length by 0.8 in breadth.
As soon as the eggs are laid, the nest is easy to find, owing to the habit the bird has of attacking any bird, no matter how large, that ventures near the nest.
The nestlings are easily reared by placing them in a cage, accessible to the parent birds, as although naturally shy yet they will attend to, and feed them until long after they are able to fend for themselves.