Any songbird of about 30 species in the Old World genus Oriolus (family Oriolidae) or 30 species in the New World genus Icterus (family Icteridae). Males typically are black and yellow or black and orange, with some white. Females are less colourful. Orioles are not easily seen but may be detected by their loud whistling and jarring notes. All are insect eaters (several species also eat fruit) in woodlands and gardens, chiefly in warm regions. The only European species is the 9.5-in. (24-cm) golden oriole (O. oriolus). Other Oriolus species are found in Africa, Asia, and Australia. The Baltimore oriole (I. galbula) breeds in North America east of the Rocky Mountains.
Golden oriole (Oriolus oriolus)—(Top) H. Schrempp/Bruce Coleman Inc., (bottom) R. Austing/Bruce Coleman Inc.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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