The name Oriole appears to have been derived from the Latin aureoles, meaning golden or yellow. Most of the orioles are yell-low and black, although some are crimson and black. They are not closely related to the New World orioles or American blackbirds, which are an entirely different family.

All orioles are remarkably similar in shape and size. The figs birds are less brightened plumage than the orioles and are more heavily built and more sluggish. In the orioles, the bill is slightly deserved, while the fig birds have short, stout bills, hooked at the tip. All the species occur in woodland or forest, where they are restricted to feeding entrees, although both the Golden oriole and the Eastern blockheaded oriole will feed on the ground on fallen fruits or insects in the grass layer. Fig birds commonly occur in small parties or flocks, even in mixed flocks with other oriole species, but most of the orioles are solitary, or found in pairs or family parties.

The African orioles, African golden, Eastern black-headed, and Green-headed orioles occasionally join mixed-species foraging flocks, and, when those, move slowly through the forest or woodland with the other birds. When foraging alone, orioles often fly long distances, as much as 1-2km. From fruit trees to trees or other food sources. The rather flapping flight in all orioles is heavy, fairly swift, and undulating, rather similar to the flight of woodpeckers.

It is on the islands of Indonesia and New Guinea where the greatest diversity of species has developed, and the greatest range of plumage colors may be seen here. In contrast to the African orioles, in which the plumage is yellow and black, or in one species only, clear yellow and olive green, the plumages of orioles in Australasia range from completely black, with chestnut under tail coverts of the Black oriole, through the crimson and black of the Maroon oriole to the dull yellowish and greenish of the Australian orioles.

Oriole nests are neatly woven, deep baskets of fine material including grass and beard lichens. The lining is of softer, finer material. Nests. Particularly those built from heard lichens, often have material trailing down which serves to camouflage the nest to a great extent. In the African orioles, nest sites are more often inside the tree and seldom on the outer edge of the canopy. Fig-bird nests are shallower and more flimsy than oriole nests and are placed in the canopy of trees, in forks at the ends of slender branches. Fig birds construct their nests of twigs and grass and do not weave the materials together as the orioles do.

Although orioles are widespread and usually common or frequently seen where they do occur the nests and eggs of several species Remain to be discovered.

See more: Drongos

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