Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Philippine Black-naped Oriole

   An early rainy morning on February 5 at the Shrine job site I was welcomed by a loud beautiful song of two pairs of Black-naped Oriole. The locals call it Tolihaw.
   Unfortunately, I don't have a telephoto camera that's why wasn't able get a nice shot of  these birds. This footage was shot using  a 12.1 mega pixels sony digital cam. Somehow this is another serendipity morning indeed.

The Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis) is a bird of the oriole family and is found in many parts of Asia. There are several distinctive populations within wide distribution range of the species and in the past the Slender-billed Oriole (Oriolus tenuirostris) was included as a subspecies. Unlike the Golden Oriole which only has a short and narrow eye-stripe, the Black-naped Oriole has the stripe broadening and joining at the back of the neck. Males and females are very similar although the wing lining of the female is more greenish. The bill is pink and is stouter than in the Golden Oriole.

The Black-naped Oriole is medium sized and overall golden with a strong pinkish bill and a broad black mask and nape. The adult male has the central tail feathers tipped yellow and the lateral ones are more broadly yellow. The female has the mantle colour more greenish or olive. The juvenile has a streaked underside. The nestling has dull greenish with brown streaks. The head and nape are more yellowish and the undertail coverts are yellow. Several variations exist in the populations that have been separated as subspecies.
Subspecies diffusus breeds in China and is widespread across India during winter, mainly in the northeastern parts and in the peninsular region. The population in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are resident. The subspecies in the Andamans, O. c. andamanensis has all black wings while O. c. macrourus of the Nicobars has a very broad nape band so that only the top of the head is yellow. The wings are all black with a yellow primary covert patch. The calls of the Andaman and the Nicobar subspecies are said to be quite different, the latter having a more modulated call note. The evolutionary history of this group of orioles is complex and there may be more cryptic species within the group. In the Southeast Asian populations some geographic trends include a reduction of yellow on the forehead and a decreased brightness in the yellow plumage from north to south. Females from southern populations are more greenish on the back and tail and there are no yellow spots on the tips of the secondaries as in northern populations.

The usual call is a nasal niee or myaa and the song (diffusus) is a fluty iwee wee wee-leeow. They have a dipping flight.

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