AskDefine | Define oriole

Dictionary Definition



1 mostly tropical songbird; the male is usually bright orange and black [syn: Old World oriole]
2 American songbird; male is black and orange or yellow [syn: New World oriole, American oriole]

User Contributed Dictionary

Also see: Oriole



  1. Any of various colourful passerine birds, the New World orioles from the family Icteridae and the Old World orioles from the family Oriolidae.


An Icteridae bird of the New World
An Oriolidae bird of the Old World

Extensive Definition

The orioles are a family, Oriolidae, of Old World passerine birds. The family comprises the Figbird Sphecotheres viridis, the only member of the genus Sphecotheres, and the Old World orioles in the genus Oriolus. Several other genera have been proposed for to split the genus Oriolus, for example the African black-headed species are sometimes split into Baruffius. The family is not related to the New World orioles, which are Icterids, family Icteridae. The family is distributed across Africa, Europe, Asia down into Australia. The few temperate nesting species are migratory, and some tropical species are show some seasonal movements.
The orioles and Figbirds are medium sized passerines, around 20–30 cm in length, that exibit little sexual dimorphism in size (females are slightly smaller). The beak is slightly curved and hooked and as long again as the head, although Figbird is distinct from the orioles by virtue of having a smaller bill. The plumage of most species is bright and showy, although in many species there is sexual dichromism with the females have duller plumage than the males. The plumage of the Figbird is duller than that of the Oriolus orioles. The plumage of many Australiasian orioles mimics that of the larger friarbirds (a genus of large honeyeaters), this is thought to be mimicry evolved to reduce aggression against the smaller orioles.
Orioles are arboreal and tend to feed in the canopy. Many species are able to survive in open forests and woodlands, a few are restricted to closed forest. They are omnivores , taking principally fruit, berries and arthropods, but opportunistically taking other prey as well.
Orioles are monogamous, breeding in territorial pairs (although Figbirds breed in loose colonies). Nesting sites may be chosen near aggressive species such as drongos, shrikes or friarbirds, which confer a degree of protection. The nest is a deep woven cup suspended like a hammock from a branch. As many as six eggs may be laid, but 2-3 is the more usual number.


External links

oriole in Afrikaans: Wielewaal
oriole in German: Pirole
oriole in Erzya: Ожопуло
oriole in Spanish: Oriolidae
oriole in Esperanto: Orioledoj
oriole in French: Oriolidae
oriole in Korean: 꾀꼬리과
oriole in Ossetian: Бурцъиу
oriole in Lithuanian: Volunginiai
oriole in Hungarian: Sárgarigófélék
oriole in Dutch: Wielewalen en vijgvogels
oriole in Japanese: コウライウグイス族 (Sibley)
oriole in Norwegian Nynorsk: Pirolfamilien
oriole in Polish: Wilgi
oriole in Portuguese: Oriolini
oriole in Russian: Иволговые
oriole in Simple English: Oriole
oriole in Finnish: Kuhankeittäjät
oriole in Swedish: Gyllingar
oriole in Vietnamese: Họ Vàng anh
oriole in Turkish: Sarıasmagiller
oriole in Ukrainian: Вивільгові
oriole in Chinese: 黄鹂科
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