Indian Golden Oriole Oriolus kundoo


Justification of Red List Category
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion. The population size has not been estimated, but is believed to greatly exceed the thresholds for listing under the population size criteria. The population is suspected to be declining at a slow to moderate rate, but the rate of this decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds under the population trend criterion (30% decline over ten years or three generations). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as 'fairly common to locally common' (Walther and Jones 2020).

Trend justification
The current trend estimated for the species from eBird data between 2014-2019 (State of India's Birds 2020) gives a decline of between 8 and 40% over three generations (10 years, with a generation length of 2.74 [Bird et al. 2020]). However the long-term status is considered stable (State of India's Birds 2020), and there remains a considerable uncertainty in the reliability of the current rate of decline. As such, the population is considered to be declining at a moderate rate, but that this rate currently is not believed to approach the threshold for listing as Vulnerable (30% decline within three generations). Clearly further information on the rate of this trend is needed, and indications of a more rapid decline would result in a review of the species status.


Open and semi-open broadleaf woodlands and plantations, including poplar (Populus), groves, copses, orchards, parks, large gardens, windbreaks, avenue trees, and other tree clumps in cultivated areas. It also occurs up to 4,400 m in the Himalayas, but it is mostly found below 1,800 m. It is migratory, although in the center of the range movements are local and are related to fruit availability. Across the northern subcontinent and into central Asia birds arrive between March and May and depart between August and November. Non-breeders occur south through India and Sri Lanka.  
The nest is built by the female, although the male may collect some material. The nest is a shallow to deep open-cup structure woven from almost any thin material and is lined with fine fibres. It is suspended hammock-like in thin, horizontal forked branch, typically high in outer edge of well-foliaged tree canopy, and often in association with drongos (Dicrurus hottentottus and D. macrocercus). Clutches are usually two to four eggs. Diet is berries and fruits, and also invertebrates. It occasionally consumes seeds, nectar, pollen and rarely, small lizards (e.g. Draco sp.).
First breeding is estimated to be at one year old, and longevity at 15 years based on a modelling approach given that observed values are available for four species within the same family (Bird et al. 2020).


Threats to the species are poorly known. It may be considered a pest due to the consumption of commercial fruit, but it is not clear that any control is carried out within the species's range. Climate change may be impacting the species, but the mechanism and impact is unclear.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
The species occurs in many protected areas throughout its breeding range (Walther and Jones 2020).


Text account compilers
Wright, L, Symes, A., Ieronymidou, C., Ashpole, J, Martin, R., Pople, R., Burfield, I., Wheatley, H.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Oriolus kundoo. Downloaded from on 07/12/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 07/12/2021.