Length: 24 cm.
Female coloured yellow-green.
Song: Flute-like whistling notes that sound like ‘weela-weeo’ or ‘chuck-chuck-weeo’. The male and female also make harsh jay-like croaking calls.
Size of Egg: 27.8—36.0 x 19.9—23.5 mm.
In late spring, when the nights are already warm, one may hear the melodious, flute-like song of the golden oriole, returned from its winter quarters in far away tropical Africa to its breeding grounds in large parks and deciduous woods. The golden oriole is distributed throughout most of Europe but is absent in Scandinavia, the British Isles and Iceland. It frequents mainly oak and other broadleaved woods, more rarely field groves or thin pine woods, and is sometimes found in old parks.
At the end of May or the beginning of June, the golden oriole weaves its hammock-shaped nest of long thin stalks and grasses, which it suspends between the forks of terminal tree branches, about four metres above the ground. The upper edge of the nest is firmly woven round the boughs on either side. The 3 to 5 eggs are incubated 14 to 15 days by the hen alone, the male relieving her for a brief interval only rarely. The young leave the nest at the age of 14 to 15 days.
The golden oriole feeds chiefly on insects and their larvae, sometimes capturing bees and other hymenopterous insects on the wing; spiders and molluscs are also eaten. The diet also includes berries and soft fruits, the birds being fond of visiting orchards where they eat ripe cherries, as well as grapes, red currants and other fruits. Jn August they set out on the journey to their winter quarters. The golden oriole is a very shy and wary bird which, though often heard, is rarely seen amidst the thick foliage of tall trees.
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