For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Old World oriole.

Old World oriole

Black-naped oriole (Oriolus chinensis)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Superfamily: Orioloidea
Family: Oriolidae
Vigors, 1825
Type genus
Linnaeus, 1766

See text

The Old World orioles (Oriolidae) are an Old World family of passerine birds. The family contains 41 species which are divided in 4 genera. The family includes two extinct species from New Zealand that are placed in the genus Turnagra.

Taxonomy and systematics

The family Oriolidae comprises the piopios, figbirds, pitohuis and the Old World orioles.[1] The piopios were added 2011, having been formerly placed in the family Turnagridae.[2][3] Several other genera have been proposed to split up the genus Oriolus. For example, the African black-headed species are sometimes placed in a separate genus, Baruffius. The family Oriolidae is not related to the New World orioles, despite their similar size, diet, behaviour and contrasting plumage patterns. Rather, these similarities are an example of convergent evolution.

Extant genera

There are three extant genera in the family Oriolidae:[4]

Image Genus Species
Sphecotheres Vieillot, 1816 – figbirds
Pitohui Lesson, 1831 – pitohuis
Oriolus Linnaeus, 1766 – orioles

Extinct genera

There are at least two extinct genera in the family Oriolidae:


The orioles and figbirds are medium-sized passerines, around 20–30 cm in length, with the females only slightly smaller than the males.[5] The beak is slightly curved and hooked, and, except in the figbirds, as long again as the head. The plumage of most species is bright and showy, although the females often have duller plumage than the males do. The plumage of many Australasian orioles mimics that of friarbirds (a genus of large honeyeaters), probably to reduce aggression against the smaller orioles.[6]

Distribution and habitat

The family is distributed across Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. The few temperate nesting species are migratory, and some tropical species also show seasonal movements.

Behaviour and ecology


Orioles are monogamous, breeding in territorial pairs (although the Australasian figbird, and possibly also the other figbirds, breed in loose colonies).[5] Nesting sites may be chosen near aggressive species such as shrikes, drongos or friarbirds, which confer a degree of protection. The nest is a deep woven cup suspended like a hammock from a branch. They usually lay two or three eggs, but as many as six have been recorded.

Food and feeding

Orioles are arboreal and tend to feed in the canopy.[5] Many species are able to survive in open forests and woodlands, although a few are restricted to closed forest. They are opportunistic omnivores, with the main components of their diet being fruit, berries, arthropods, and nectar.


  1. ^ "Orioles, drongos & fantails « IOC World Bird List". Retrieved 2017-02-18.
  2. ^ Johansson, Ulf; Eric Pasquet; Martin Irestedt (2011). "The New Zealand Thrush: An Extinct Oriole". PLOS ONE. 6 (9): e24317. Bibcode:2011PLoSO...624317J. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024317. PMC 3170299. PMID 21931679.
  3. ^ Zuccon, D. & Ericson, P. G. (2012). "Molecular and morphological evidences place the extinct New Zealand endemic Turnagra capensis in the Oriolidae". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 62 (1): 414–26. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.10.013. PMID 22056604.
  4. ^ a b Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2017). "Orioles, drongos & fantails". World Bird List Version 7.3. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Walther, B; Jones, P (2008). "Family Oriolidae (Orioles and Figbirds)]". In Josep, del Hoyo; Andrew, Elliott; David, Christie (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 13, Penduline-tits to Shrikes. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. pp. 692–713. ISBN 978-84-96553-45-3.
  6. ^ Diamond J (1982). "Mimicry of friarbirds by orioles" (PDF). The Auk. 99 (2): 187–196.

Further reading

{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
Old World oriole
Listen to this article

This browser is not supported by Wikiwand :(
Wikiwand requires a browser with modern capabilities in order to provide you with the best reading experience.
Please download and use one of the following browsers:

This article was just edited, click to reload
This article has been deleted on Wikipedia (Why?)

Back to homepage

Please click Add in the dialog above
Please click Allow in the top-left corner,
then click Install Now in the dialog
Please click Open in the download dialog,
then click Install
Please click the "Downloads" icon in the Safari toolbar, open the first download in the list,
then click Install

Install Wikiwand

Install on Chrome Install on Firefox
Don't forget to rate us

Tell your friends about Wikiwand!

Gmail Facebook Twitter Link

Enjoying Wikiwand?

Tell your friends and spread the love:
Share on Gmail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Buffer

Our magic isn't perfect

You can help our automatic cover photo selection by reporting an unsuitable photo.

This photo is visually disturbing This photo is not a good choice

Thank you for helping!

Your input will affect cover photo selection, along with input from other users.


Get ready for Wikiwand 2.0 🎉! the new version arrives on September 1st! Don't want to wait?