Family Old World Orioles (Oriolidae)

Least Concern

Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis)


French: Loriot de Chine German: Schwarznackenpirol Spanish: Oropéndola china

Oriolus chinensis


, 1766,

“China”; error = Manila, Philippines


See O. oriolus. Sometimes treated as conspecific with O. tenuirostris. Geographical variation fairly marked, and the strikingly large, dark-backed melanisticus of Talaud might be considered a separate species, but its plumage is variable and there are adjacent intermediate forms. Races here divided into six groups based largely on published information on genetic#R, plumage and vocal characteristics#R; further study required. Race diffusus previously known by name indicus (based on birds from non-breeding range in SW India), but latter name preoccupied. Other proposed races are saani (Mayu I, in Moluccas), now included in formosus; macassariensis (SW Sulawesi), in celebensis; and oscillans (Tukangbesi Is), in boneratensis; and, in Philippines, palawanensis (Puerto Princesa, NC Palawan), fugaensis (Fuga I, off N Luzon) and sorsogonensis (Sorsogon, in S Luzon), all now subsumed into nominate. Twenty subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • O. c. diffusus Sharpe, 1877 – Eastern Black-naped Oriole – SE Russia (Amurland), Korea and S throughout E half of China (E from W Sichuan and Yunnan) to Hainan, also SW Myanmar, N Laos and Taiwan; non-breeding mainly India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and S Indochina.
  • O. c. andamanensis Beavan, 1867 – Andaman Is.
  • O. c. macrourus Blyth, 1846 – Nicobar Is.
  • O. c. maculatus Vieillot, 1817 – Sunda Black-naped Oriole – extreme S Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, mainland Sumatra, Bangka, Belitung, Java and Bali.
  • O. c. mundus Richmond, 1903 – Simeulue and Nias, off W Sumatra.
  • O. c. richmondi Oberholser, 1912 – Siberut and Pagai Is, off W Sumatra.
  • O. c. sipora Chasen & Kloss, 1926 – Sipura, off W Sumatra.
  • O. c. lamprochryseus Oberholser, 1917 – Karamian and Masalembu Is, in E Java Sea.
  • O. c. insularis Vorderman, 1893 – Sapudi, Raas and Kangean Is, in Bali Sea.
  • O. c. chinensis Linnaeus, 1766 – Philippine Black-naped Oriole – N & W Philippines (Luzon, Mindoro, Palawan and surrounding smaller islands).
  • O. c. yamamurae Nagamichi Kuroda, 1927 – C & S Philippines (Tablas, Romblon, Sibuyan, Masbate, Panay, Samar, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Basilan, Mindanao and surrounding smaller islands).
  • O. c. suluensis Sharpe, 1877 – Sulu Archipelago (S from West Bolod and East Bolod), in SW Philippines.
  • O. c. melanisticus A. B. Meyer & Wiglesworth, 1894 – Talaud Black-naped Oriole – Talaud Is (Karakelong, Salibabu, Kaburuang), S of Philippines.
  • O. c. sangirensis A. B. Meyer & Wiglesworth, 1898 – N Sangihe Archipelago (Sangihe I, Tabukan I), N of Sulawesi.
  • O. c. formosus Cabanis, 1872 – S Sangihe Archipelago (islands of Siau, Tahulandang, Ruang, Biaro) and Mayu I (E of NE Sulawesi).
  • O. c. celebensis (Walden, 1872) – Sulawesi and surrounding islands (Talisei, Bangka, Lembeh, Kabaena, Muna, Butung, Tanakeke), including Togian Is.
  • O. c. stresemanni Neumann, 1939 – Banggai Archipelago.
  • O. c. frontalis Wallace, 1863 – Sulawesi Black-naped Oriole – Sula Archipelago.
  • O. c. boneratensis A. B. Meyer & Wiglesworth, 1896 – islands in Flores Sea (Kayuadi, Tanahjampea, Kalao, Bonerate, Kalaotoa, Madu), and Tukangbesi Is (in W Banda Sea).
  • O. c. broderipi Bonaparte, 1850 – Tenggara Black-naped Oriole – Lesser Sundas (Lombok, Sumbawa, Komodo, Rinca, Sumba, Flores, Paloe, Besar, Lembata, Pantar, Alor).
  • Descriptive notes

    23–28 cm; 65–100 g. Male nominate race has head, upperparts and underparts entirely golden-yellow, apart from black on lores and in broad band through eye and... read more


    Much variation, but geographical differences largely unstudied. Song a loud fluty whistle, “... read more


    Open primary and secondary evergreen forest, mixed broadleaf forest and deciduous forest, dryland... read more

    Food and feeding

    Berries and fruits, e.g. Campnosperma auriculata, Cinnamomum iners, Eugenia papillosa, Passiflora foetida... read more


    Breeds in May–Jun in N of range (SE Russia), Jun–Jul in China (May–Jul in Hongkong), Apr–Jun in Andaman Is, Dec... read more


    Mainland diffusus migratory, with N populations present on breeding grounds May–Sept... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to fairly common or frequent in various parts of its range of c. 1,000,000–10,000,000 km². Status in Borneo uncertain, and the few... read more

    Recommended citation

    Walther, B. & Jones, P. (2020). Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 23 January 2020).