Fun Black-headed Oriole Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Black-headed Oriole Facts For Kids

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The word 'oriole' comes from the Latin word 'golden,' therefore this bird stays true to its lovely name. Black-headed orioles are Old World orioles who have a striking appearance due to their bright yellow plumage. They have a contrasting black head and an orange beak.

Black-headed orioles have a wide range throughout sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in East Africa, North Africa as well as South Africa. They are native all over the tropical dry forests, particularly Acacia and broad-leaved woodlands as well as Savanna woodland, coastal forest, gardens, parks. They are rarely seen but heard regularly for their melodic liquid calls. One may catch a glimpse of them gliding from one tree to another in a smooth pattern, and hear them calling from the top of a tree, where they are often hidden. They communicate with each other in the woodland through liquid whistles and singing loud tunes. Black-headed oriole call can be heard from a long distance.

This bird forages in a canopy and feeds on fruits, nectar, berries as well as large insects. The diet of a  juvenile consists of caterpillars. They have a swift and direct flight pattern. This pattern helps them grab the insects with their strong bill.

They are under Least Concern status according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. These species have a wide range of habitat, throughout north and South Africa, and their numbers are increasing

For more relatable content, check out these ovenbird facts and umbrellabird facts for kids.

Fun Black-headed Oriole Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Insects, caterpillars

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

3-7 eggs

How much do they weigh?

2.2–2.5 oz (62–70 g)

How long are they?

8–8.5 in (20–21.5 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Bright yellow with a black head

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Humans, Habitat Loss

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Dry Tropical Forests And Dense Shrublands


Sub-saharan Africa









Black-Headed Oriole Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a black-headed oriole?

Black-headed oriole (Oriolus larvatus) is a type of songbird that belongs to the order Passeriformes and family Oriolidae. The word 'oriole' is derived from the Latin word 'golden'. Another type of oriole is the hooded oriole.

What class of animal does a black-headed oriole belong to?

Black-headed oriole (Oriolus larvatus) is an Old World oriole who is a member of the Aves class. This bird is also known as Eastern black-headed oriole, African black-headed oriole, and Eastern oriole.

How many black-headed orioles are there in the world?

There is no information available on the world population of African black-headed orioles. However, since their population is known to be expanding, they do not fall into the category of endangered birds.

Where does a black-headed oriole live?

Black-headed orioles have a wide range throughout sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in East Africa, North Africa as well as South Africa. These yellow-bodied birds are native all over Mozambique, Limpopo province, eastern Cape as well as Savanna woodland, coastal forest, gardens, parks.

What is a black-headed oriole's habitat?

Black-headed orioles can be found foraging in tropical dry forests especially Acacia and broad-leaved woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa. They also live in dense shrubland and canopy, where they are rarely seen but their melodious liquid calls are heard frequently.

Who do black-headed orioles live with?

There isn't much information on whether these old world orioles are social or not. However, orioles are typically solitary birds that only unite during the breeding season.

How long does a black-headed oriole live?

Due to scarce information, the lifespan of an African black-headed oriole (Oriolus larvatus) is not known. However, other species belonging to the Oriolidae family have an approximate lifespan of 10 years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

These birds are monogamous and have varying breeding seasons depending on where they live. The males try to entice the females by flicking their tails and expanding their wings while keeping their heads low as a part of their mating ritual. After copulation, females single-handedly build the nest on the thin branches of a tall tree in 3-10 days. The grass, mosses, tiny roots, hair twigs, wools, and even small spider webs are used to construct these open cup-shaped nests. Males sit on a nearby branch of the forest and sing throughout this time. Following that, females typically lay 2-3 eggs in the nest, with a maximum of seven eggs, and incubate them approximately for 14-16 days. The diet of the nestlings includes caterpillars which are fed by their parents. They become independent after 14-18 days of hatching.

What is their conservation status?

These birds who belong to the order Passeriformes are classified as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. This is due to the fact that these species can be recorded in a wide range of habitats and their numbers are increasing. Therefore, there are currently no particular conservation plans in place for this bird.

Black-Headed Oriole Fun Facts

What do black-headed orioles look like?

The plumage of these birds is quite striking with a bright golden-yellow body, with a contrasting black head and an orange beak. The male and female species almost look similar. They have a black head, black throat as well as a black tail. Apart from this, their wings are also black in color with white fringes. Juveniles have similar plumage to adults, with the exception that the head is blackish-olive and the upper half is olive with yellow edges. The wings are pale brown rather than black.

These birds have a striking appearance but they are rarely noticed in their natural habitat, which is a forest. Most of the time, the call of these birds can be heard from the woodland.

Black-headed orioles have bright yellow plumage.

How cute are they?

The African black-headed oriole (Oriolus larvatus) is a cute little bird with striking yellow plumage. Its black head catches people's attention. It also has soulful and liquid calls.

How do they communicate?

These species communicate with each other using liquid whistles and songs that are fairly loud and can be heard from a considerable distance. Apart from the whistles, they have been observed imitating the calls of other species.

How big is a black-headed oriole?

African black-headed oriole is 8–8.5 in (20–21.5 cm) in size, which is four times bigger than a bee hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world.

How fast can a black-headed oriole fly?

The actual flight speed of this yellow colored bird is unknown, however, it has a flying pattern that is swift, direct, and swooping.

How much does a black-headed oriole weigh?

The weight of an African black-headed oriole (Oriolus larvatus) is 2.2–2.5 oz (62–70 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for the male and female black-headed orioles who belong to the order Passeriformes.

What would you call a baby black-headed oriole?

A baby African black-headed oriole is called a chick.

What do they eat?

This bird forages all over the canopy for fruits, nectar, and berries. It also preys on insects like beetles like jewel beetle, monarch butterfly, locusts. It has a strong bill which helps them to devour the insects efficiently. The diet of the young black-headed orioles consists of caterpillars. This bird forages alone, in pairs, and occasionally in small groups.

Are they poisonous?

No, the African black-headed oriole is not poisonous. These birds do not pose any danger to humans except small insects.

Would they make a good pet?

No, they will not make a good pet. These species are stunning creatures with beautiful yellow plumage, but they thrive well in their natural wild habitat.

Did you know...

The Oriolus genus comprises 33 different species of orioles all over the world.

A finch and an oriole are often thought to be the same species but they are actually different. A finch is a passerine bird that is a member of the Fringillidae family. This bird eats seeds and has a conical-shaped beak and are primarily found in the Northern Hemisphere. On the other hand, orioles are colorful passerine birds. The New World orioles belong to the family Icteridae and the Old World orioles belong to the family Oriolidae.

Is the black-headed oriole endangered?

No, African black-headed orioles are abundant in their wide range and their population is known to be expanding. Therefore, they don't fall into the category of endangered species.

How do you identify the black-headed oriole?

The unique feature of an African black-headed oriole that helps one to identify this bird is its bright yellow plumage, with a contrasting black head and an orange beak. Their appealing appearance is complemented by their melodious, liquid whistles, which help bird observers recognize these birds foraging through the canopy.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these toco toucan facts and summer tanager facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable black-headed oriole coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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