Eurasian golden oriole

(Oriolus oriolus)
Migratory bird. It breeds in Paggaio and overwinters in central and southern Africa.
Sophia Siggiridou_Kostas Vidakis, MSc

Distribution of the species

The local breeding population is smaller than the 2% of the national population (estimated at 40,000 pairs). The conservation status of the local population, which is not isolated within its wider distribution range, is considered good. In the study area, the species is found mainly in the middle and lower altitudes (<1,000 m) in deciduous forest and rural or agroforestry areas with mature trees and / or patches of riparian vegetation.

Description of the species (biological and ecological features)

With bright yellow body, yellow wings and tail and red beak. The duller female is greenish. Shy but active and energetic. Difficult to locate during the breeding season, even the yellow of the male is lost into the light that bathes the foliage of the tree in which it hides. It flies fast and strong in the foliage. Longer flights include shallow waves. Its song is melodious, like a loud flute whistle, it can be confused with the blackbird from afar.

Migratory bird. It breeds in Paggaio and overwinters in central and southern Africa. It lives in dense deciduous forests, rarer in mixed deciduous-coniferous or coniferous forests. Also in riparian forests, large parks, walnut crops and large fig trees. it generally avoids treeless areas, although it may forage there. The cup-shaped nest, made by the female, hangs from the slender branches of a horizontal fork, high, near the top of a tree. The male can help in the collection of materials. It feeds on insects and fruits. It uses its beak to catch insects from crevices. During the autumn migration they feed en masse on fruit, causing damage to orchards.

The main threat for the species is the expansion and intensification of agriculture, with the subsequent removal of scattered trees, hedgerows and riparian vegetation, that degrade the suitable habitats of the species. The use of insecticides, especially in tree crops, has a negative effect on the species, reducing its food availability. In addition, the species is persecuted as pest by arborists, as it consumes large amounts of fruit.

Conservation status

Least Concern.

Conservation state

Protected under the Bern (Appendix II) and Bonn Conventions (Appendix II). Listed as Least Concern in Greece and in Europe, by the Greek Red Data Book and the IUCN correspondingly. Not included in a SPEC category (European species of conservation concern) by BirdLife International.