Genus ORIOLUS

The genus Oriolus contains nine Indian species of birds, several of which are well-known in India under the name of "Mango-bird." The prevailing colour of these birds is yellow, one species only being red. The young are densely streaked below, and they retain traces of streaks in their plumage probably for two years.

The Orioles frequent forests and well-wooded tracts of country, confining themselves entirely to trees, on the fruit of which, together with insects found on the leaves, they subsist. Many species are sedentary, others are migratory to a small extent, and one is absent from India entirely during the summer months. The Orioles make cup-shaped nests, which are suspended by the rim from the fork of a branch, and they lay spotted eggs. Their notes are very liquid and rich.

In Oriolus the bill is as long as the head, the culmen gently curved, and the tip notched and bent; the nostrils are Lengthened and exposed; the rictal bristles are fairly strong; the head is never crested ; the wing is long and sharp, the first primary longer than half the second ; the tail is much shorter than the wing and slightly rounded; the tarsus is short and scutellated.

Key to the Species.

a. Tail black and yellow or green.
a1. Nape black, crown yellow.
a2. Outer webs of secondaries and tertiaries conspicuously greenish yellow ; all quills tipped yellow. a3. Nape-hand much more than half inch broad………………O. indicus, p. 502.
b3. Nape-band much less than half inch broad………………O. tenuirostris, p. 603.
b2. Outer webs of secondaries and ter¬tiaries black in male, brown in female, with hardly a tinge of green; tips to quills absent or obsolete,
c3. Nape-band more than half inch broad; wing about 6 ………………O. macrurus, p. 503.
d3. Nape-band less than half inch broad; wing about 5………………O. andamanensis, p. 504.
b1. Nape and crown yellow or greenish yellow.
c2. Wing much more than 5.
e3. Lores black, continued back behind the eye………………O. kundoo, p. 504.
f3. Lores only black………………O. galbula, p. 505.
d2. Wing much less than 5………………O. xanthonotus p. 505.
c1. Nape and crown black,
e2. Abdomen white streaked with black………………O. xanthonotus , p. 505.
f2. Abdomen plain yellow………………O. melanocephalus, 506.
b. Tail red………………O. traillii, p. 508.

The first eight Orioles on our list may be termed Yellow Orioles. The young of these resemble each other very closely for the first few months, and subsequently pass through similar stages.

In the nestling, the feathers of the upper plumage are greenish tipped with yellow, and those of the lower white streaked with brown.

Soon after the young are fully fledged, the yellow tips to the upper plumage drop off, the streaks below become firmer and blackish, and the whole plumage yellower. About the first autumn the black marks on the head which characterize the different species become apparent, as also the yellow marks on the wings and tail.

Between the first and second autumns a continual change, tending to the complete adult plumage, takes place, the streaks gradually disappearing, the yellow becoming more intense, and the black marks on the head more pronounced. The young of the different species may generally be identified by the same characters which differentiate the adults.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Reference: 
OATES EW. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.1 1889.
Title in Book: 
Genus ORIOLUS
Book Author: 
Eugene William Oates, Edited by William Thomas Blanford
Year: 
1889
Page No: 
499
M_ID: 
19448
M_SN: 
Oriolus
Volume: 
Vol. 1
Term name: 
id: 
700

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