Golden oriole male – © P.Gourdon
French name: Loriot d’Europe
Scientific name: Oriolus oriolus
The male is bright yellow with black wings while the female is duller. The young look like the female with a duller yellow on the back and a white breast streaked with black. If its song is heard from afar, the Golden oriole remains very shy and is rarely well seen.
Call and song
The call is a screech like a jay, but the song is really melodious and sounds like a tropical bird.
Distribution and habitat
This summer visitor appreciates deciduous trees. In the region, it is often associated with riparian forest and is therefore at the edge of wetlands. The nest is built at the top of a tree and looks like a kind of hammock. It feeds on insects and fruit.
Locally, the Golden oriole is present throughout the region and the Aude department but absent at altitude and in north Lozere.
Distribution maps: region and county
Breeding birds Atlas – Languedoc Roussillon (2012-2021) – source: faune-lr.org
Conservation status and population trends
The population trend in Europe appears to be stable. In France, despite significant inter-annual fluctuations related to weather conditions, the populations are stable or even increasing. The IUCN red list for the Languedoc-Roussillon considers the species as least concern (quite common in the region). Golden oriole does not seem threatened and is quite common at the moment.
When to see this species in the Languedoc-Roussillon
The Golden oriole can be seen in the Languedoc from mid-April but especially early May. It leaves for its winter quarters at the end of August. The graph below shows the average numbers of Golden oriole seen in the Languedoc by month.