Golden Orioles; Oriolus oriolus

Golden Orioles

Eurasian Golden Orioles, Oriolus oriolus, coloured pencils, copyright Paula Kuitenbrouwer

I’ve seen Golden Orioles in Korea, Macedonia and Italy. I’ve heard them in the Netherlands, but never saw them there.

It was a great pleasure to draw Golden Orioles. I chose two males, because of their bright yellow plumage, and one female in the background. The female orioles are more green with little yellow, and a white speckled chest. They are perfectly camouflaged in the summer. The males are difficult to spot in the green trees too, however, you can’t miss them when they fly from tree to tree.

Two males and one female in a drawing make a wonderful composition, in nature it means competition.


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13 thoughts on “Golden Orioles; Oriolus oriolus

  1. Sometimes coincidences are just unbelievable! 2 days ago I was sitting in my drawing room when I heard this weird screeching noise. At first I ignored it, but when it persisted I began to wonder if a cat was stuck in the bathroom window or something. When I walked in I saw this huge golden oriole sitting on my bedroom windowsill and making that awful noise. I didn’t know there were sparrows in Bangalore let alone a Golden Oriole. It flew away when it saw me and I swear I thought I should ask you to paint one!! and the next moment discarded the idea thinking you probably didn’t have them at your place. Well… this should teach me to follow my instincts always.. 🙂


    1. That is a wonderful story, Mavika. It makes me happy. I bet your Golden Oriole has even more outrageous colours than our European ones.
      Next time, tell me which birds I should draw, okay? You definitely got a lovely, artistic premonition. 🙂


  2. Indeed! I agree. Birds are very human, only sometimes better … like the way doves mate for life.

    These are lovely, in perfect balance, and bring sunshine with their color.

    Thanks for this. Made me smile.


  3. I am late commenting on this gorgeous drawing. It is beautiful in every way. I am wondering if the name for these birds is related to the noun ‘aureole’ which is derived from the Latin for corona or golden crown. It’s even more interesting because I think these birds belong to the same family as blackbirds! It has been many years since I’ve had the pleasure of having an oriole visit my yard for an entire summer.


    1. To have an oriole in your garden! That is a dream of any ornithologist. I researched aureole and oriole and found this:

      Aureole means a circle of light or radiance surrounding the head or body of a representation of a deity or holy person; a halo: “The picture of the Buddha in the stained glass has a beautiful aureole surrounding the head.”
      Oriole, on the other hand, is a tropical songbird; the male is usually bright orange and black: “During her travels in the Ranthambore sanctuary, she saw a beautiful oriole flitting through the trees.”

      As far as I know, oriole is an onomatopoeia. The bird actually calls out ‘Oriiii-oolee’ in a melodious way. But I like your thought of aureole being related to the oriole, referring to its golden aurum, yellow colour. I think all male Orioles will love you for your thought of a golden bird or a golden crowned male bird. This bird is getting too much praise!


Discussions are welcome. Thanks for your comments. Gracias por tu comentario. Merci pour vos commentaires. Grazie per i vostri commenti. Obrigado pelo seu comentário.

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