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Ethiopian oriole

Ethiopian oriole
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Oriolidae
Genus: Oriolus
O. monacha
Binomial name
Oriolus monacha
(Gmelin, JF, 1789)
  • Turdus monacha

The Ethiopian oriole (Oriolus monacha) is a species of bird in the family Oriolidae.

It is found in north-eastern Africa where its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry forests.


The Ethiopian oriole was formally described in 1789 by the German naturalist Johann Friedrich Gmelin in his revised and expanded edition of Carl Linnaeus's Systema Naturae. He placed it with the thrushes in the genus Turdus and coined the binomial name Turdus monacha.[2][3] The specific epithet monacha is from Late Latin monachus meaning "monk".[4] Gmelin based his description on "Le Moloxita" or "La religieuse d'Abissinie" that had been described in 1775 by the French polymath Comte de Buffon in his multi-volume Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux.[5] The Ethiopian oriole is now one of 30 orioles placed in the genus Oriolus that was introduced in 1766 by Linnaeus.[6] Other common names include dark-headed or black-headed forest oriole and Abyssinian oriole.[7]


Two subspecies are recognized:[6]

  • O. m. meneliki Blundell and Lovat, 1899 – Originally described as a separate species. Found in southern Ethiopia
  • O. m. monacha (Gmelin, 1789) – Found in northern Ethiopia, Eritrea


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Oriolus monacha". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22706415A94068649. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22706415A94068649.en. Retrieved 16 November 2021.
  2. ^ Gmelin, Johann Friedrich (1789). Systema naturae per regna tria naturae : secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (in Latin). Vol. 1, Part 2 (13th ed.). Lipsiae [Leipzig]: Georg. Emanuel. Beer. p. 824.
  3. ^ Mayr, Ernst; Greenway, James C. Jr, eds. (1962). Check-list of Birds of the World. Vol. 15. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 132.
  4. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 258. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  5. ^ Buffon, Georges-Louis Leclerc de (1775). "Le Moloxita". Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux (in French). Vol. 3. Paris: De l'Imprimerie Royale. pp. 405–406.
  6. ^ a b Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (January 2023). "Orioles, drongos, fantails". IOC World Bird List Version 13.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 14 April 2023.
  7. ^ Walther, B.A.; Jones, P.J. (2008). "Family Sittidae (Nuthatches)". In del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D.A. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 13: Penduline-tits to Shrikes. Barcelona, Spain: Lynx Edicions. pp. 692–731 [728]. ISBN 978-84-96553-45-3.

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Ethiopian oriole
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