Golden Oriole

Oriolus oriolus (Linnaeus, 1758) OL GOLOR 15080
Family: Passeriformes > Oriolidae

Golden Oriole, Chris Knights

Formerly a rare but regular breeder, the Golden Oriole is now a scarce visitor, most commonly reported in the spring, from April to the middle of June.

The last regular breeding took place in East Anglia, and the bird's disappearance has been linked to declining populations elsewhere.

Select a topic for more facts and statistics about the Golden Oriole

  • Breeding
  • Winter


Golden Oriole identification is often straightforward.


Listen to example recordings of the main vocalisations of Golden Oriole, provided by xeno-canto contributors.


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Status and Trends

Population size and trends and patterns of distribution based on BTO surveys and atlases with data collected by BTO volunteers.


This species can be found on the following statutory and conservation listings and schedules.



The Golden Oriole was a scarce but regular breeding species in poplar plantations in East Anglia during the 1980s and 1990s but breeding numbers at the former core population at Lakenheath collapsed from 27 pairs in 1987 to four pairs in 2005 (Mason & Allsop 2009). This decline continued subsequently and the species is now effectively extinct as a breeding species in the UK. Occasional singing males continue to be reported to the Rare Breeding Birds Panel in most years, but the last confirmed breeding was in 2009 (Eaton et al. 2021).


Golden Orioles have declined significantly and no longer breed regularly. During 2008–11 breeding was confirmed in two 10-km squares in the Suffolk fens and possible breeding in 27 squares. Many records away from the Fens probably refer to migrants; non-breeding birds were reported in a further 93 10-km squares in Britain and five in Ireland.

Golden Oriole breeding distribution 2008-11
Britain and Ireland Breeding Distribution 2008-2011.
More from the Atlas Mapstore.

Occupied 10-km squares in UK

European Distribution Map

European Breeding Bird Atlas 2


The change map highlights losses in the Fens and at other historical breeding sites.


Golden Oriole is a former regular breeder and now mostly a spring overshoot migrant.

Weekly occurence of Golden Oriole from BirdTrack
Weekly occurrence patterns (shaded cells) and reporting rates (vertical bars) based on BirdTrack data. Reporting rates give the likelihood of encountering the species each week.


Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.

An overview of year-round movements for the whole of Europe can be seen on the EuroBirdPortal viewer.


View a summary of recoveries in the Online Ringing Report.

Foreign locations of birds ringed or recovered in Britain & Ireland

Foreign locations of Golden Oriole ringed or recovered in Britain & Ireland
Encountered in: Winter (Nov-Feb); Spring (Mar-Apr); Summer (May-Jul); Autumn (Aug-Oct)


Lifecycle and body size information about Golden Oriole, including statistics on nesting, eggs and lifespan based on BTO ringing and nest recording data.



View number ringed each year in the Online Ringing Report


Feather measurements and photos on featherbase


For information in another language (where available) click on a linked name

Gaelic: Buidheag-Eòrpach
Welsh: Euryn
Catalan: oriol eurasiàtic
Czech: žluva hajní
Danish: Pirol
Dutch: Wielewaal
Estonian: peoleo
Finnish: kuhankeittäjä
French: Loriot d’Europe
German: Pirol
Hungarian: sárgarigó
Icelandic: Laufglói
Irish: Óiréal Órga
Italian: Rigogolo
Latvian: valodze
Lithuanian: eurazine volunge
Norwegian: Pirol
Polish: wilga (zwyczajna)
Portuguese: papa-figos
Slovak: vlha obycajná
Slovenian: kobilar
Spanish: Oropéndola europea
Swedish: sommargylling


Interpretation and scientific publications about Golden Oriole from BTO scientists.


Causes of change

The drivers of the UK declines are unclear but the British population is linked to population trends in the Low Countries which are declining and this may have made the isolated UK population more vulnerable by reducing immigration. The declines in the Netherlands have been linked to habitat degradation but this is considered unlikely to have driven the UK extinction as sufficient suitable habitat was still available (Mason & Allsop 2009).

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