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African Black-headed Oriole - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Eastern Black-headed Oriole; Black-headed Oriole

Oriolus larvatus


Bright yellow body, black head, olive central tail feathers, yellowish edge of its inner secondaries, flesh-coloured beak.

Similar Species

It can be distinguished from other similar species (eg the Western Black-headed Oriole or the Montane Oriole) by its olive central tail feathers and the yellowish edge of its inner secondaries.
Where it is conspecific with other black-headed Orioles it tends to be restricted to the forest edge.


Sub-Saharan Africa:
Western Africa: Equatorial Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola
Eastern Africa: Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, Swaziland

Non-breeding first year bird; the bill has not quite reached the red stage and the hood is not totally dark
Photo by jdbirdman
Oribi Gorge, South Africa, August 2004


Oriolus larvatus has six subspecies:1

  • O. l. angolensis:
  • O. l. additus:
  • O. l. tibicen:
  • O. l. reichenowi:
  • O. l. rolleti:
  • O. l. larvatus:


Inhabits Acacia woodland and other types of open woodland as well as being seen in mangroves and forest.


The diet includes small fruit as well as large insects. The young are fed mostly with caterpillars.


  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Avibase

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