Golden oriole

    Golden oriole

    Oriolus oriolus

Castilian: Oropéndola

Catalan: Oriol

Gallego: Ouriolo

Euskera: Urretxoria


Orden: Passeriformes

Family: Oriolidae

Migratory status: Summer resident


On the National List of Threatened Species, it appears in the “Of Special Interest” category. In the 2004 edition of the Red Book of Spanish Birds (Libro Rojo de las Aves de España) it is listed as “Not Evaluated”.


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It is not a threatened species. The loss of its habitat en breeding areas due to changes in rivers could be considered a possible threat.

Length / size: 24 cm / 45 cm

Identification: Bird the same size as a thrush whose yellowish colour contrasts with its black wings and two yellow patches. Its tail is also black and has a yellow band at the end. The male's colour is more intense and includes a black eye band, while the female's is similar to that of the European green woodpecker, softer and somewhat greenish.

Song: The males makes a fluty "teeree-oleeuuu" whistle sound, while the females song is shorter and higher-pitched. Sometimes it makes a rough call similar to that of a crow, "cueeejj".

Diet: Varied diet: primarily caterpillars, beetles and bees that it pecks at among the foliage. In summer it consumes a large quantity of wild and cultivated fruits (berries, figs, cherries, etc.)

Reproduction: The breeding period begins in May. The birds are very territorial and place the nest in high bark ridges. The bowl-shaped nest is built by the female using grass, bark and wool. Both parents are responsible for incubating the eggs and feeding the chicks.


It needs wet forest areas with well developed meadows and poplar groves in river valleys. It is primarily found in deciduous forests, but it is very versatile and can also be found in mixed open areas.


In Spain: Its distribution is restricted by elevation, and it is rarely found above 1000 metres. It is abundant in the Mediterranean areas of the midwest part of the peninsula, while it is scarce in areas near the Atlantic.

In Castile and León: It breeds in all the provinces but avoids dry and/or treeless regions. Abundant in Valladolid, Salamanca, northern Zamora and southern Burgos.

Movements and migrations: It is a summer species that winters in sub-Saharan Africa. The males begin to arrive in April, some of which cross into Europe, and a little later the females arrive. Autumn migration takes place in early August.


In Spain: There is an estimated population of 175000 breeding pairs.

In Castile and León: