Black-naped oriole



The black-naped oriole (Oriolus chinensis) is a bird from the oriole family. It has yellow-and-black plumage and is found in many parts of Asia.1 It is one of the most common bird species in Singapore.2

Description
The black-naped oriole has a bright yellow mantle, with some black on it wings and tail, and a red bill. It has a distinctive black band across its eyes to its nape, from which it gets its name. The females have a greener tinge on their mantles. Juveniles have a streaked colouration on their breasts, and are green on their backs and lack the black nape. Adult black-naped orioles are about 27cm in length.

The oriole has a range of clear melodious whistles, the most conspicuous of which sounds like “tooo-diddlyoo”. It is also capable of making harsh rasping noises.3

Reproduction
The documented breeding season for black-naped orioles in Singapore is from January to July.4 Their nests are constructed with bark, twigs, grass and roots and are usually located on the forks of tree branches. Two eggs, bluish-white with purple brown spots, are usually laid.5 The black-naped oriole can be aggressive during its breeding season and have been known to mob other birds’ nests.6

Diet
They feed on fruits and insects.7

Distribution and Habitat
Black-naped orioles can be found in South Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore.8


They are the only orioles in Singapore.9 There are, however, two subspecies, though they are virtually indistinguishable in the field. The migratory population breeds in Indo-china and migrates into the north of the Malay Peninsula after the winter season. The residential population, which is a well-established species in Singapore, were a result of an invasion from Indonesia as well as escape of caged birds in the 1920s.10

The black-naped oriole can be seen in green spaces such as parks and gardens and at the edge of forests. It is one of the most common bird species in Singapore and consistently makes the top 10 in the annual Singapore Bird Census.11

Other Facts
The black-naped oriole is featured on Singapore’s $500 notes of the “Bird Series” currency notes issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore between 1976 and 1984.12 It was also featured on Singapore’s S$0.50 stamp from the 1991 postage stamp series “Garden Birds”, as well as S$1 stamp from the 2002 series on “Singapore-Malaysia Joint Issue: Birds”.13

The oriole was one of the five shortlisted contenders for Singapore’s national bird by the Nature Society of Singapore’s bird group. It lost to the crimson sunbird following a public vote on 27 May 2002.14

Variant names
Malay: Burong kunyet besar.15
Chinese: 黑枕黄鹂 (hei zhen huang li).16




Author

Shereen Tay



References
1. Strange, M. (2000). Tropical birds of Southeast Asia. [Hong Kong]: Periplus Editions, p. 49. (Call no.: RSING 598.0959 STR)
2. Lim, K. S. (2009). The avifauna of Singapore. Singapore: Nature Society (Singapore), Bird Group Records Committee, pp. 289-290. (Call no.: RSING 598.095957 LIM)
3. Halis, C., & Jarvis, F. (1987). Birds of Singapore. Singapore: Times Editions, p. 122-123. (Call no.: RSING 598.295957 HAI); Tweedie, M. W. F. (1970). Common birds of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur: Longman Malaysia, p. 40. (Call no.: RSEA 598.29595 TWE)
4. Lim, K. S. (2009). The avifauna of Singapore. Singapore: Nature Society (Singapore), Bird Group Records Committee, pp. 289-290. (Call no.: RSING 598.095957 LIM)
5. Tweedie, M. W. F. (1970). Common birds of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur: Longman Malaysia, p. 40. (Call no.: RSEA 598.29595 TWE); Madoc, G. C. (1947). An introduction to Malayan birds. Kuala Lumpur: Malayan Nature, pp. 141-142. (Call no.: RCLOS 598.29595 MAD-[GBH])
6. Sodhi, N. S. (2006). Winged invaders: Pest birds of the Asia Pacific, with information on bird flu and other diseases. Singapore: SNP Reference, pp. 122-123. (Call no.: RSING 598.095 SOD); Halis, C., & Jarvis, F. (1987). Birds of Singapore. Singapore: Times Editions, p. 122-123. (Call no.: RSING 598.295957 HAI)
7. Strange, M. (2000). Tropical birds of Southeast Asia. [Hong Kong]: Periplus Editions, p. 49. (Call no.: RSING 598.0959 STR)
8. Strange, M. (2000). Tropical birds of Southeast Asia. [Hong Kong]: Periplus Editions, p. 49. (Call no.: RSING 598.0959 STR)
9. Yong, D. L., & Lim, K. C. (2016). A naturalist's guide to the birds of Singapore. Oxford, England: John Beaufoy Publishing, p. 111. (Call no.: RSING 598.095957 YON)
10. Halis, C., & Jarvis, F. (1987). Birds of Singapore. Singapore: Times Editions, p. 122-123. (Call no.: RSING 598.295957 HAI); Lim, K. S. (2009). The avifauna of Singapore. Singapore: Nature Society (Singapore), Bird Group Records Committee, pp. 289-290. (Call no.: RSING 598.095957 LIM)
11. Lim, K. S. (2009). The avifauna of Singapore. Singapore: Nature Society (Singapore), Bird Group Records Committee, pp. 289-290. (Call no.: RSING 598.095957 LIM)
12. Monetary Authority of Singapore. (2016). Notes. Retrieved 2016, June 13 from the Monetary Authority of Singapore website: http://www.mas.gov.sg/currency/circulation-currency/notes.aspx; Board to issue new $100 and $500 notes. (1977, January 31). The Straits Times, p. 9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
13. CS Philathelic Agency. (n.d.). Singapore Stamps 1991. Retrieved 2016, June 13 from CS Philathelic Agency website: http://www.cs.com.sg/1991.htm; CS Philathelic Agency. (n.d.). Singapore Stamps 2002. Retrieved 2016, June 13 from CS Philathelic Agency website: http://www.cs.com.sg/2002.htm
14. Pick our national bird. (2002, May 27). The New Paper, p. 6; Perry, M. (2002, May 31). Crimson sunbird tops bird poll. The Straits Times, p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
15. Tweedie, M. W. F. (1970). Common birds of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur: Longman Malaysia, p. 40. (Call no.: RSEA 598.29595 TWE)
16. Yong, D. L., & Lim, K. C. (2016). A naturalist's guide to the birds of Singapore. Oxford, England: John Beaufoy Publishing, p. 111. (Call no.: RSING 598.095957 YON)



The information in this article is valid as at 2016 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

Subject
Orioles--Singapore
Birds on postage stamps
Science and technology>>Zoology>>Birds
Birds in numismatics
Nature>>Animals
Wildlife