Oriolus melanocephalus, Lin.
472. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 110 ; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 474 ; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 403.
THE BENGAL BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE.
Length, 9.5 ; expanse, 16 ; wing, 5.5 ; tail, 3.5; tarsus, 0.88 ; bill at front, 1.
Bill pale lake-red; irides rich-red.; legs plumbeous.
Whole head, neck and breast in front. deep-black_; rest of the plumage rich dark-yellow above, slightly paler beneath, on the lower abdomen and under tail-coverts ; wings black, with a small yellow band formed by the primary-coverts ; tertiaries with the tips and outer webs pale-yellow ; the secondaries also broadly tipped with yellow, gradually diminishing in extent to the last primaries, some of which are tipped and edged with yellow; tail pale-yellow, the two central-feathers with a broad black band about half an inch tipped with yellow the next pair with barely one inch of black, and the yellow tip nearly half an inch ; the next pair with a narrow and sometimes interrupted black band about the terminal third, and the three outer pairs on each side nearly wholly yellow; the outer pair with an occasional smear of black on the outer margin; all the tail-feathers with black shafts diminishing in intensity towards the outermost feathers.
The young bird has the forehead yellow, the head more or less blackish, the neck white with blackish streaks, the belly yellow with longitudinally dark streaks, and the yellow duller in tint.
The Bengal Black-headed Oriole is not very common ; it occurs only on the higher ranges, where it replaces Oriolus indicus. It is not uncommon on the Sahyadri Range, and again on the Aravellies near Aboo.