Golden beauties, the orioles – even the non-birders will take a curious look at these winged beauties. We’ve got 3 types of yellow orioles here in India !!! One is a resident and the other two are migratory. A keen observer can easily identify all of them. Among these three, the black-naped oriole (is a migratory bird coming all the way from North East China, Siberia, Vietnam, Korea and Ussuriland to escape from the intolerable winter season. The rarest of the 3 orioles found here, the black-naped has a black stripe over the eye which extends upto the back of the head. The males and females are almost similar except that the wing linings of the females are a bit greenish. The juvenile has streaks over the body.
These birds can be seen looking for insects and small fruits. Rarely do they venture onto the ground. The call is a fluting weela we oo or weeoo or a grating cat like kerach.. They are difficult to spot from the canopy. The nest of this bird is like a deep cup on the fork formed by some twigs. Incubation is the exclusive right of the females and the males actively do feeding and guarding.
The best method to distinguish among the orioles is to watch their heads. The Black-hooded orioles will have the entire head covered in black, the Black-naped has got the stripes over the eyes which extends upto the back of the head and the Eurasian Oriole doesn’t have the black stripe that extends upto the back of the head. There are several sub-species for the black-naped which are not generally seen in India. They are distinguished by the patterns on the wings.
The Black-naped are over-looked for Eurasian orioles most of the time. Due to the bird’s reluctance to meet the ground, taking eye-level pictures will always present the photographer a serious challenge.